The combination of sweet, salty, and herbal flavors in a fresh and delicious dish is one of my favorite indications that summertime is here.
I don’t know about you, but the change of seasons seemed to come exceptionally fast in my corner of the world this year.
All of a sudden, the farmers markets popped up. New fruits and vegetables started to appear at my local grocery store. Then, my favorite fruit in the world came to town:
I am a Colorado girl, and here in Colorado, we take our stone fruit seriously. If you have never experienced the magic of a perfectly ripe Palisade peach, you are missing out.
In fact, I demand that you come to Colorado immediately and seek out the produce stands that sit at our local intersections every year, featuring plump peaches that burst with flavor.
You know when you were a kid and you’d bite into a ripe peach, with its juices running sloppily down your chin? That is one of those childhood memories that screams summertime happiness to me. It was one of those pleasures that it seems only children can embrace.
Of course, now that I am an adult, I don’t like to pull out that sloppy eating in front of my dinner guests… I prefer to be a little more polite in front of company.
When no one else is around, that’s a different story. Naturally.
So, being the adult that I so obviously am, it was time to bust out the peach flavors I love, enhance them, and make them gorgeous enough to serve up at a dinner party.
This crostini is exactly the elegant presentation you’ve been looking for. Whether you are bringing it out for dinner parties or a baby shower, the recipe is so simple that there’s no reason not to make it.
Honestly, this recipe really is that easy. You toast the bread, then layer up the toppings to create a sweet, salty, and herbaceous appetizer that everyone will lose their minds over.
Who knew that basil and peaches went together so well?
The thinly sliced fruit and creamy ricotta are a natural pairing to begin with. The sweetness of the honey brings out the juicy notes in the peaches, and the basil levels up every bite.
Put all of this on top of a crunchy, toasted piece of bread and you have a textural explosion of flavor.
You can easily put this together for a party at your home, but it also makes for a delicious appetizer to assemble and bring to an event. It takes less than 15 minutes to prepare, and most of that time is spent simply assembling the crostini – no hovering over a hot stove required.
The sweet and subtle flavors make it a fantastically light appetizer that is ideal for barbecues as well. The lightness of these flavorful bites won’t weigh you down when you have a dinner of rich barbecue on the way.
You can even serve this crostini up for a lovely brunch snack, paired with mimosas. Or try it for a different take on dessert if you are looking for something light and bite-sized.Print
Fresh, juicy peaches are one of the highlights of the season, and this crostini is the perfect dish to start off any summertime meal right.
- Place baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer. Place under broiler set to high until toasted, approximately 1-2 minutes. Keep an eye on it.
- Remove toasted bread slices and place on serving platter. Spread each slice of bread with approximately 1 tablespoon ricotta. Drizzle each with honey.
- Top with slices of peach, using approximately 3 slices per piece. Sprinkle with basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Keywords: crostini, peach, basil, ricotta, summer
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prepare and Measure Ingredients
Slice the baguette into ½-inch-thick slices.
Wash the peaches well, and slice as thin as you can. They shouldn’t be paper thin, but they should be thin.
Measure the remaining ingredients and set out in the order that they appear in the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Toast Bread
Place the sliced bread in a single layer on a baking sheet, without any overlap.
Place on the top rack of your oven (or wherever the closest rack to your broiler is located) and set boiler to high. Toast for approximately 1-2 minutes.
Keep an eye on the bread while it is toasting. In the broiler, bread will go from light golden to brown to black in a matter of seconds!
Remove from the oven and set slices on a serving platter.
Step 3 – Assemble
Spread each slice of toasted bread with about a tablespoon of ricotta.
Drizzle a little honey on top of each.
Top each piece with a few slices of peach.
Sprinkle the basil over the top. Lightly season with salt and black pepper.
Millions of Peaches, Peaches for Me
I can’t help but recall that song by The Presidents of the United States of America whenever I think about peaches. I know that probably dates me quite a bit, but it’s true.
Of course, the ones I love don’t come from a can. They are ripe, fresh, and full of natural juice.
If you want to make sure you are choosing the right peaches for this appetizer, I recommend first smelling them when you are shopping. You should instantly be greeted with the sweet scent of peach.
Then, give the peach a slight squeeze. It should not be hard, but it shouldn’t be too squishy. There should be a little bit of give when you push in lightly.
You don’t want your fruit to be overly ripe for this particular dish, because they will fall apart when you attempt to slice them thinly. Instead, they should just be turning ripe when you buy them, and you should use them as soon as possible.
Fresh fruit and herbs are a natural pairing, and there are so many ways to feature fresh, seasonal produce in new and inventive ways at every meal. I love the simplicity of this dish, and the payoff for just a few minutes of effort is huge.
For another tasty crostini option made with seasonal fruit, try our maple pear version. And give this lemon, goat cheese, and rosemary cake a try if you’re looking for another not-to-sweet dish with an unexpected herbal flavor.
Have you ever tried this delicious flavor combination before? What are some of your favorite ways to combine fruit and herbs in your cooking? Tell us in the comments below, and rate this recipe once you’ve tried it.
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Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on August 2nd, 2010. Last updated: August 28, 2018 at 15:31 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.