This is what happens when my fiance goes out of town: I end up at Whole Foods at 6 p.m. with an empty tummy and leave with some bread, basil, expensive cheese, and two large beers. Sounds like the start to a good night, right?
I wasn’t really entirely sure what was going to come out of the kitchen that night, but man am I happy with the result. I am so in love with these little bites that I’m considering serving them as an appetizer at our wedding. Woot!
To get started, all you need is some pistachios and some basil. (The pistachios I used are the salt and pepper roasted ones from Costco… talk about addictive. These things are amazingly good, entirely too salty, and they just about break the bank. We only buy them every now and then, but they don’t last long around here. Other options are listed in the recipe below.) Add some olive oil and lime juice, and you’ve got a mighty good pesto on your hands.
And then, it’s bruschetta time! That cheese I found at Whole Foods while meandering around with an empty stomach turned out to be a really good find.
I stood at the cheese counter for probably five minutes wanting to ask someone some questions about the cheeses, but the girl there seemed more interested in cleaning the case of olives five feet away than actually helping the customer out. So I poked and prodded a bunch of cheeses, looked up at their little description board, and tried to sniff through the plastic wrap before just saying screw it and grabbing one randomly.
Luck was on my side. Straight from the wedge, the Camembert isn’t really all that special. It’s mostly buttery and a bit sour, which I wasn’t a huge fan of. But baked on top of some bread? Holy moly. I just about stuck the whole 1/2 pound in the oven and ate it with a spoon, it is that good. But I refrained, and I’m sure glad I did.
Take one bite of these and you will be in heaven. Glorious, cheesy, foodie heaven. This is all I want to eat for the rest of this week.
I made these again just before AJ returned from a mini-vacation up in Monterrey for a friend’s birthday. He got home around 8 p.m., tired and hungry and sunburned.
I wasn’t sure if he was going to be super into these, but they seemed to hit the spot. One of our new favorites, I hope you and your family will love them too.Print
An incredibly delicious and simple appetizer recipe. Camembert cheese and tomatoes are baked on top of some bread, then it’s all topped with a crunchy pistachio basil pesto. This will be your favorite new appetizer!
- 1/4 cup shelled salt and pepper roasted pistachios*
- 1/3 cup basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
- pinch salt
- 10 oz baguette
- 1/2 lb Camembert cheese
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Combine the pistachios and basil in a food processor. Pulse until crumbly. Add the olive oil and lime juice, and pulse until combined. Taste, add a pinch of salt if necessary, and set aside.
- Rinse the tomatoes well and cut them in half, or slice them into a few pieces if they are large. Cut the baguette at an angle into 1/2-inch-wide slices. Spread each piece with a layer of the cheese, then top with a few tomato halves.
- Arrange on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the tomatoes are soft. Remove from the oven, top with a bit of the pesto, and serve immediately.
I buy the salt and pepper roasted pistachios from Costco. They are amazing. But, if you don’t have these on hand, just use whatever roasted pistachios you can find and add a fair amount of salt and freshly ground black pepper to the pesto. As always, add gradually and taste frequently!
If you make this and LOVE it, share it with your friends and give it a rating in the comments below!
Is pesto your thing?
If so, make sure to check out these other tasty recipes:
- Portobello Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
- Caramelized Eggplant and Pesto Pasta
- Fresh Zucchini Pasta with Tomatoes and Homemade Pesto
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Photos by Raquel Smith, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on August 14th, 2014. Last updated: June 15, 2018 at 19:47 pm.
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 Raquel Smith
Raquel is a whole foods enthusiast, an avid mountain biker, and a dog lover. She works by day at Food Blogger Pro and formerly maintained her food blog "My California Roots" (now being merged into Foodal).