Saturday, June 1, 2013

Tomato Crostini with Whipped Feta

An Ina Garten recipe.



This recipe is included in Ina's newest book Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof. Great. The last thing I need is another book; and how can I not put it on my wishlist on Amazon when I have all of her other books...

Ina. Need I say more? Her recipes are always so simple and delicious. I may have said this in a previous post, but hey, it's true!

I whipped this up and brought it to share with my sister last night. It was too hot to have her turn her oven on to broil and toast the baguette slices as instructed in the recipe; the soft bread was still a great vessel for this delectable appetizer.

What a beautiful evening it turned out to be. Just the two of us hanging out in her backyard (it's oh so beautiful!) watching the doves and smaller birds eating from her bird feeder atop a dead weeping cherry tree in her yard - below the tree, sunflowers are sprouting from the dropped seeds. I wish I had a picture to show you. I said to her that I want to grow a dead tree so I can top it with a bird feeder.

This evening at six O'clock it is 92° outside. Way too hot to cook, not to mention I'm flying solo for dinner. The leftovers were perfect with a cold glass of Apothic White. If you have not tried Apothic wines, you are missing out. I was introduced to this wine by our daughter. It is a blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, and Moscato, and has a smooth and buttery feel. Their red is just as delicious - and both are inexpensive!

Once again, it was not my intent to blog this recipe (I should know better with an Ina recipe!). I decided to do so while I was preparing my dinner this evening. This is why the tomatoes are not as vibrant in the photos as they were last night.

I did broil the baguette slices and I do like it better with them toasted. Also, I would make the cheese mixture the day before, or as early in the day as you can - it thickens up considerably. However, I recommend making the tomatoes shortly before (up to an hour before) serving to showcase their beautiful colors.

These were perfect on this overly warm evening alongside some leftover cold grilled chicken, and a cool glass of white wine.

Success meter (1-3): 3

I left some extras with my sister and she made a very tasty omelet the next morning.

Tomato Crostini
with Whipped Feta
Serves 6 to 8

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 pepper
2 Tablespoons minced shallots
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 Tablespoons good red wine vinegar
2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, ½-inched 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 (I omitted these.)

For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a good processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and a ¼ 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 ½ 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.

Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof


Thanks for visiting! Would love to hear from you - feel free to comment.