The Little Epicurean

Apr 24 2013

Leek Pesto Crostinis

Leek pesto crostini with roasted mushrooms, shaved parmesan, and micro-greens

Spring cleaning isn’t just cleaning out the house and throwing out clutter.  I think it’s also a time to do some good for yourself by cleansing yourself mentally and emotionally.  Its time to let go of old baggage, let go of any hate or anger, let go of fear and whatever else may be holding you back.  Cry your eyes out, laugh until your stomach hurts, clear out your eyes, brains, and ears.  And once you’ve done that, its time to invite friends over and celebrate!

In my opinion, it’s not a real party unless there is good food.  Sure, parties have plenty of beer and cocktails, but its the snacks and finger foods that make a great party.  Crostinis are the perfect hors d’oeuvres to serve.  I am hitting 30 soon and bags of potato chips and dip just doesn’t cut it anymore.  I need sophisticated and fancy little snacks to serve my almost full-fledged adult friends.

leek pesto ingredients

Leeks are my new favorite vegetable.  I’m a sucker for leeks whenever I see them at the market.  However, most recipes only call for the white or light green ends of the leeks.  I feel terrible throwing away the tough green parts.  This pesto solves that dilemma.

In order to make the tough green leek parts edible and pleasant, you have to blanche them to get them soft.  Leeks have a mild-onion like taste, but are slightly sweeter with a more delicate flavor.  The use of leeks allows other ingredients of the pesto to also shine through.  The use of fresh garlic and lemon juice makes the pesto taste quite fresh and sharp.  It’s very eye-opening, especially because not many people have had pesto that doesn’t have basil.

leek pesto crostini components

Crostini means “little toast” in Italian.  It is quite similar to tartine, French for an open-faced sandwich.  These leek pesto crostinis are a breeze to set up and serve.  All the components of the crostini play off each other.  I choose a crusty baguette with sesame seeds because the nutty, savory flavors complements the fresh and acidic leek pesto.  The earthy mushrooms balances the salty and umami of the shaved parmesan cheese.  And finally, the micro greens* brings it all together by adding a hint of color and a clean fresh taste.

evolution of leek pesto crostini

It’s never too late to be happy.  Start cleaning and lessen your load.  Spring brings a fresh start every year.  It’s time to celebrate, feast, and party with your best friends.

Leek pesto crostini topped with roasted mushrooms, shaved parmesan, and micro-greens

Leek Pestoadapted from Daily Candy

Ingredients

2 bunches, leek greens, sliced

1 garlic clove

1/3 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted

2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1 lemon, juiced

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Fill a large saucepot with water and bring to a bowl.  Add cleaned, sliced leek green. Cook for 5 minutes until leeks are soft and tender.  Drain and set aside.

2.  In the food processor, pulse the garlic. Add toasted pine nuts and pulse pulse until combined.  Add parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.  Pulse until combined.  Slowly add olive oil while the food processor is in motion.  Continue to mix until pesto is smooth and homogenous.

Leek Pesto Crostini with roasted mushrooms, shaved parmesan cheese, and micro-greens

Components

1 crusty baguette, preferably seeded

olive oil

leek pesto

roasted sliced mushrooms, or sauteed

shaved parmesan cheese

Micro Greens*

Method

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Slice baguette into 1/3” thick slices.  Place slices on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Lightly drizzle baguette slices with olive oil.  Bake for 5-8 minutes until slices are warm and crisp.

2.  Spread leek pesto onto warm baguette slice.  Arrange sliced mushrooms over pesto, followed by shaved parmesan cheese, and top with micro-greens.  Serve immediately.

*I bought my micro greens from Trader Joe’s.  They sell a small package of mixed micro greens that consist of a mix of broccoli, purple kohlrabi, kale, mizuna, red mustard, and red cabbage.  They are great to toss into salads, sandwiches, and soups.

   

3 Responses to “Leek Pesto Crostinis”

  1. April 30, 2013
    6:18 am

    What a gorgeous little treat! Gets me so excited for spring weather…thanks for sharing!

    -Shannon

  2. March 5, 2014
    11:13 am

    Hi Maryanne!

    WOW! You just put two of the greatest things in the world on the only other thing that’s greater than them – bread. Hearting it!!! More leeks and Parmesan and bread! I hope you don’t mind but I’d LOVE to include your photo/recipe in my newsletter this week. Of course, it’ll all be linked back to you. The photography is just stunning and the recipe is divine :)

    • Maryanne Cabrera replied...

      Thanks Kristy! Please let me know when your newsletter is up! I’d love to see it :)

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