Nothing like the joys of a new season to inspire a little creativity. The vegetables at my local farmers market right now are down right beautiful, so so tasty, and awe inspiring. Who knew, sliced red carrots and Chioggia beets could become works of art. Simply combining vegetables, fresh herbs, and cheese to a crostini toast and behold, you have a savory morsel to delight your tastebuds. It’s the various combinations that keep it interesting.
Merging flavors together for that perfect taste harmony is my current obsession. I guess it follows my desire to find ideal wine with food pairings. Of course, putting it all together and enjoying it on my deck at the end of the day and the beginning of Spring – that’s perfection! Cheers to Spring and playing with flavor combinations.
My wine pairings with the Spring Crostini would be a Grüner Veltliner, Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé.
1. Red Carrot. Spread a layer of fresh plain Chèvre on the toast. Scrub the red carrots, do not peel or the outer red skin will be peeled away. Slice the carrots thinly with a mandoline. Finish with a small dollop of cilantro pesto. (recipe follows)
2. Raw Chioggia Beets. Spread a layer of fresh Chèvre on the toast. Scrub the beets clean, no need to peel. Slice the beets thinly with a mandoline. Sprinkle with Maldon sea salt flakes. Top with fresh chervil.
3. Asparagus, Leek and Shiitake Mushrooms. Snap bottom part of asparagus spear off. Cut asparagus spears into one inch pieces, cut leeks in half and thinly slice only the white and light green part, quarter or half the shiitake mushrooms depending on size. Sauté all the vegetables in olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Top with a shaved piece of Pecorino Romano cheese.
4. Radish Avocado. Mash equal parts avocado with fresh plain Chèvre and spread on the toast. Top with thinly sliced radishes. Finish with a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt flakes and chopped fresh chives
- 1 French baguette
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1-2 garlic cloves, smashed
- Pre heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Slice the baguette into ½ inch thick slices. Brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place bread on the baking sheet.
- Bake for 2-3 minutes on each side. When cool enough to touch rub each slice with a garlic clove.
- Top with your favorite crostini toppings.
- 1 to 1½ cups cilantro
- 1 garlic clove
- ¼ cup toasted almond slivers
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- In a food processor, combine the garlic, cilantro, and almonds. Pulse with the on off switch until finely chopped. Add the extra virgin olive oil and parmesan and pulse again to combine. Salt to taste.