What a gorgeous day today. I had not been to our local farmers market in a while due to traveling and other obligations. I didn’t need much since I pick up my farm share in a few days, but I packed up my bag, dog and husband and off to the market we went. I picked up my usual things…some peaches from Brown’s Orchards, fresh herbs from Flying Plow, an olive oil refill from Dimitris, my coveted orange chipotle marmalade, tomatoes and a baguette from the Breadery.
I brought my haul home, emptied my bag and came up with a plan for Crostini with whipped feta for a light lunch after some horrendous weeding. The crostini is from Ina Garten’s “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof”.
The whipped feta is easy. Some crumbled feta (I crumbled from a block), a little cream cheese, some olive oil, lemon juice and salt/pepper are blended in a food processor.
Chop up some shallot and garlic and add to some cherry tomatoes that have been quartered. Toss with some really good vinegar (I used white as opposed to red that Ina used), and olive oil and set aside for the flavors to meld a bit.
Cut some slices from a baguette and mist with a bit of olive oil and put in a 400 degree oven to toast up.
When the toasts are done, slather that ridiculously delicious feta spread on the slices, top with some of the tomatoes, sprinkle with basil and some pine nuts. I did tweek the recipe a bit. I did not use nearly the amount of the oil that the recipe called for. It really doesnt need it. And, as I stated above, I used white balsamic instead of red. I think it makes the tomatoes look brighter. But either choice is delicious. This would make a great appetizer or in our case, a great light lunch for a summer day.
Crostini with Whipped Feta and Tomatoes
Ina Garten- Barefoot Contessa Foolproof
- 6 ounces good feta, crumbled
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup good olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
- 2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
- 2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, ½-inch-diced
- 3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves, plus extra for serving
- 20 to 25 (½-inch-thick) diagonal baguette slices, toasted
- 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.
For the tomatoes, up to an hour before you’re serving, combine the shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and – teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasonings.
To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Put the crostini on plates and scatter with the pine nuts. Sprinkle with extra basil and serve.