Apple, Brie and Blue Cheese Pesto Crostini
Serves 8 to 10 Note: For a picnic, prepare the blue cheese pesto and baguette slices ahead of time. Have your guests assemble their own crostini on the spot.
Blue cheese pesto: 2 cups fresh basil leaves 1 large clove garlic ¼ cup pine nuts 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice ¼ teaspoon crushed red pep- per flakes
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated ¼ cup good quality blue cheese ¾ teaspoon sea salt ¼ teaspoon black pepper 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil Crostini: 1 small baguette Olive oil ½ pound triple-cream Brie, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
½ green apple, unpeeled, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons fig preserves
For the pesto, place all the ingredients except the olive oil into the bowl of a large food processor. Pulse 10-12 times to blend. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pulse a few more times. With the motor running, add the olive oil in a thin stream and process for about 20 seconds. Stream in olive oil with the motor running for about 20 seconds. Scrape the sides again and pulse until blended. Can be made a day in advance and refrigerated.
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the baguette into ¼-inch slices at an angle and arrange in a single layer on the prepared pan. Brush bread with olive oil, add a sprinkle of salt and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges but not too firmin the center. Remove from pan and let the crostini cool on a rack. Spread each crostini with a thin layer of fig preserves, then top with 2 thin slices of green apple and a thick slice of Brie. Top with a drizzle of pesto and serve. (If you’re making these at home, the crostini are especially delicious if you broil them for 30 seconds, before topping them with pesto).