This post is sponsored by Arla
Lately Daniel and I have been talking about buying a house. Next spring when the lease on our apartment ends, we’re planning to pack up and head back home to Massachusetts. Just thinking about being closer to our family and friends makes me happy. When I look around our little apartment now, I wonder what it would be like to have storage, or counters that didn’t stain upon contact with just about anything that isn’t water, or enough space for one of those beautiful farmhouse tables I love, or a wide enough bedroom for a nightstand on my side of the bed, or oh my gosh—a dishwasher.
And eeeven though I’m pretty elated about that dishwasher (remember when I wrote a cookbook in a thimble, also known as an NYC apartment kitchen?), it’s not my favorite home daydream. The thing I think about most often is, How soon can I start hosting holidays? Parties, brunches, book clubs…anything. Everything. Our house will be a warm, open, loud…function facility. Probably run by my mother. And I can’t wait. I just haven’t told Daniel that yet.
3 Summer Crostini Recipes
These crispy-crunchy-creamy little toasts are some of most delicious appetizers I can imagine serving friends and family. I love that crostini are so versatile. I’ve never had a combo I didn’t like and it’s not all that hard to make them taste great with only a few ingredients.
Making summery crostini was a no-brainer, since we have so many fresh veggies available to us in June, like fresh corn, sweet tomatoes, radishes, and asparagus. But I can see swapping in fall vegetables come October or November and loving them just as much. To add some richness and bring all of the fresh flavors together, I used one of my fridge staples: Arla light cream cheese. This cool, creamy spread is so smooth and versatile, and hands-down the most fresh-tasting cream cheese on the market. The ingredients are pure and uncomplicated. It’s not overtly tangy or even the slightest bit gelatinous, like other brands’ light versions I’ve had. It’s mild, smooth, and perfectly silky.
Here’s how I used it on my 3 summer crostini recipes:
Balsamic Tomato Crostini with Bacon and Dill
Salty bacon was made for something sweet, like a ripe tomato and tart, sweet balsamic. Add to that some fragrant dill and smooth cream cheese and you’re on another level.
Grilled Corn and Asparagus Crostini with Lemon Zest
Sweet charred corn, asparagus, and bright citrus zest are true summertime flavors, so pairing them with velvety cream cheese and an egg makes the perfect seasonal appetizer.
Sesame Salmon Avocado Crostini
It’s a cross between a bagel and lox and a salmon avocado roll and that’s why it’s so lovely. The sesame seeds and radish add the right crunch!
3 Summer Crostini Recipes
- 1 to 2 French baguettes sliced into ½-inch-thick pieces
- High heat cooking oil like safflower
- 1 to 2 packages Arla light cream cheese spread
For the Balsamic Tomato Crostini with Bacon & Dill:
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved or quartered
- ¼ small red onion thinly sliced
- 1 pound bacon pan-fried and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- Small bunch of fresh dill
For the Grilled Corn & Asparagus Crostini with Lemon Zest:
- 2 ears corn on the cob shucked
- 1 bunch of asparagus tough ends trimmed
- 2 to 3 teaspoons high heat cooking oil like safflower
- 6 large eggs
- Zest of 1 lemon
For the Sesame Salmon Avocado Crostini:
- 1 avocado pitted and sliced
- 4 ounces smoked salmon
- 4 to 6 radishes thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- Grill the baguette: Light your grill. Lightly brush both sides of your baguette pieces with olive oil and grill over high heat until toasted and lightly charred in spots, 1 minute per side.
Make the Balsamic Tomato Crostini:
- On a cutting board, use the back of a spoon to smash the garlic into a paste, then add it to a medium bowl.
- Whisk in the balsamic and oil, salt and pepper. Add the tomatoes and onion and toss. Let sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and no more than 30 minutes.
- Assemble the crostini: Spread cream cheese on the baguette, followed by bacon, a small spoonful of the drained balsamic tomatoes and onion, and top with a sprig or 2 of dill. Finish with freshly ground black pepper.
Grilled corn & asparagus crostini:
- Bring eggs and cool water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover the pot and remove it from heat. Let stand 12 minutes. Drain and submerge the eggs in ice cold water. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel them and slice them with a sharp knife.
- For the corn and asparagus: toss both veggies in oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Light a grill or grill pan and grill them, turning frequently, until the asparagus spears are tender and well browned, about 12 minutes, and the corn is a deep golden yellow and blackened in spots, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Cut the kernels from the cob. Cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
- Assemble the crostini: Spread with cream cheese, followed by asparagus, sliced egg, corn kernels, and a sprinkle of lemon zest.
Sesame salmon avocado crostini:
- Spread cream cheese on the baguette, followed by a slice or 2 of avocado, smoked salmon, sliced radish, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Add lemon zest, if desired.