Crostini with Arugula Pesto, Blue Cheese and Fresh Figs
Last night I did a cooking demonstration at our local Farmers Market on Queen Anne. It was pretty cool because on almost any other normal Thursday evening you could find me there with my hubby and kids. The girls like to ride their little pink scooters to the Market and I trail behind yelling at the top of my lungs for them to slow down.
This cooking demo was especially cool because all of the ingredients for the dish I made (BLT pasta from my book) came from different organic vendors. On donated the sugar sweet cherry tomatoes and the pungent spicy garlic, another the arugula and fresh basil and then the organic butcher that donated some beautiful bacon.
When the demo was over, I made my way around and found a few other treats, some bunches of peppery arugula, a wedge of blue cheese and a crispy baguette. Since I got home a little on the late side, I just made a light little dinner with the star being these Crostini with arugula pesto, soft blue cheese and slices of gorgeous fig fresh from the tree in the back yard.
This recipe is so simple and really summery and lovely with a glass of wine or a light cocktail. The peppery arugula, creamy, pungent blue cheese are a natural match and the whole appetizer is sweetened up and made beautiful with the star of the show- the fresh fig slices.
In Seattle we have had an unusually warm summer that has actually been sunny since May (almost unheard of) and because of the nice weather we have an incredible crop of figs. Not only have they ripened earlier than usual but some of them are the size of baseballs and they are sweeter than I can ever remember them being before. Yesterday and Today it was race against time and the birds to harvest what I could from the branches in reach. (Yesterday I picked 50 pounds worth!) The rest I am ok with sharing with the birds, I am sure they are enjoying them too!
I am about to throw tons of fig recipes your way! Don’t worry, I do know that not everyone (or barely anyone) has a fig tree in their yard, but I have seen beautiful figs at both Trader Joes and Costco lately that were very reasonably priced. So I hope that if you can get your hands on some this summer that you try some of the recipes that follow over the next few weeks!
To make these Crostini with Arugula Walnut Pesto, Blue Cheese and Fresh Figs, this is what you do:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the crostini slices on a sheet pan and drizzle the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the bread. Toast in the oven until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Run the raw garlic clove lightly over the top of each toast.
Make the Arugula Walnut Pesto and drizzle a heaping spoonful over the top of each crostini.
Divide the blue cheese among the crostini.
Top each crostini with slices of fresh fig and drizzle the top with a little olive oil. (I garnished with some thyme flowers)
Recipe: Crostini with Arugula Walnut Pesto, Blue Cheese and Fresh Figs
- 12 baguette slices
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- ½ cup arugula pesto
- 6 ounces blue cheese or stilton
- 4 large fresh figs
- olive oil for drizzling
- Arugula Pesto, makes 2 cups:
Large bunch of Fresh Arugula (about 3-4 cups)
½ cup walnuts
1 Garlic clove
½ a Lemon, juiced
1/3 cup Olive oil
salt to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the crostini slices on a sheet pan and drizzle the 3 tablespoons of olive oil over the bread. Toast in the oven until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Run the raw garlic clove lightly over the top of each toast.
- Make the Arugula Pesto by combining all ingredients in a blender and pureeing until smooth. Season with kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle a heaping spoonful over the top of each crostini.
- Divide the blue cheese among the crostini.
- Top each crostini with slices of fresh fig and drizzle the top with a little olive oil. (I garnished with some thyme flowers)
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 7 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 12