Friday, September 08, 2006

Pesto and Red Pepper Crostini

New thing: I never made crostini before

We had friends over for dinner last night so I took the oppertunity to maybe get a few dishes ahead. The next couple of posts are the menu.

1 (18- to 22-inch-long) baguette, cut into 60 (1/4-inch-thick) slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For peppers and onions
6 assorted red, yellow, and orange bell peppers (3 lb), cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
2 large onions (1 1/2 lb), cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

For pesto
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan (1 oz)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic

2 tablespoons water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup olive oil

Make toasts:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Put baguette slices on 2 large baking sheets, then brush tops with oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake in batches in middle of oven until pale golden, about 10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Cook peppers and onions:
Cook bell peppers, onions, and garlic with salt in oil in a wide 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 20 to 25 minutes. Cover pot and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are very tender and just starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes more. Stir in vinegar and remove from heat.

Make pesto while peppers cook:
Pulse all pesto ingredients except oil in a food processor until finely chopped. With motor running, add oil in a slow stream and blend until combined well.

Assemble crostini:
Put about 1 tablespoon pepper mixture on each toast and top with about 1/4 teaspoon pesto.

Makes 60 crostini.

Do not make the same mistake that I did and get bad bread. I was feeling too lazy to walk up the the good bakery and instead settled on some terrible hero rolls from the Eastern European grocery store near my apartment. Mistake. This recipe really counts on a decent, hearty compact bread.

Other than that it was delicious and very easy to make. My daughter helped me put them together, but ofcourse refused to eat any of them.

I made about 30 of them and between 4 people there were none left over.

No comments: