Crostini is absolutely one of my most favorite ways to serve a savory bite. The premise is very similar to a taco (where is she going here???)…there’s got to be a lot of texture and your palette needs to be hit with a carnival of pow, zing, WOW flavors.
That’s a lot for one little toasted piece of bread to deliver. And that is exactly what this crostini does.
Here is how this dish goes down. You take a bite and first thing you notice is the toasted bread. It’s a little crunchy with a soft center…things are going good. Then you start to pick up the tang from the goat cheese and rhubarb….for a millisecond you may think this is going to be too tart but then, out of nowhere, you get a burst of sweetness from the honey. Before it’s all said and done you are surprised again by the nutty, salty crunch of the pistachios. You are satisfied, your mouth is doing a dance and you are ready for another crostini.
This is a perfect make ahead dish as it is wonderful served warm or room temperature. I figure about 2 to 3 crostinis per guest…and of course I hide some for myself. You may have some skeptical friends when they see rhubarb in something other than a dessert. All it takes is one taste to make them a believer. (Which is why you need to save some for yourself.)
1 medium size baguette, cut into ½" slices on the diagonal
2cups diced rhubarb, ½" pieces
2tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus more for brushing bread)
salt and pepper
4oz goat cheese
½cup shelled salted pistachios, coarsely chopped
Toast the baguette slicess in the oven until golden. (I brush olive oil on each one of my slices and throw under broil for a few minutes on each side. Be careful not to burn.) Remove from oven and set aside.
Preheat oven 450ºF. Place rhubarb on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. (I dont measure the salt and pepper - just give it a healthy pinch of each.) Roast in oven, on middle rack for 4 to 5 minutes. Take out of oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before using.
Smear goat cheese on each crostini slice. Top with a tablespoon or so of the roasted rhubarb. Top with some pistachios and repeat with each crostini. Drizzle a healthy dose of honey over all of the crostini and serve.
That’s right, my sweet Granny brought me more rhubarb…and this time it was so much that you are going to see not one but TWO recipes flaunting this perfectly tart ingredient.
First up is an easy easy peasy rhubarb crisp. It’s a little sweet and a lot tart with a crunchy exterior. Maybe this is my self portrait in food form. Nonetheless, this crisp is good and will make your belly happy.
I am not sure what I love about this dish more, the rhubarb or the nutty topping. The rhubarb is bright and fresh with that POW flavor while the oatmeal topping is sweet and nutty and provides the perfect crunchiness. On their own they are good, but together they are summer bliss.
Of course the only thing that could make this recipe better is the only thing that could make most desserts better…ice cream. And it is exceptional with this rhubarb crisp.
Oh summer, you are going to be filled with so many crisps and scoops of vanilla ice cream. I’ll gladly workout extra to enjoy every single bite.
½cup walnuts (or whatever nut you enjoy...or none!)
Preheat oven 375ºF. Grease a 9" square baking dish or round pie dish with butter. Set aside.
Toss rhubarb in a bowl with sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour into prepared dish.
Place brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, kosher salt and butter in a food processor and pulse until small pea size clumps form. Add the oats and nuts (if using) and pulse a few times more. Spread evenly on top of rhubarb.
Place in oven, on middle rack, for 40 to 50 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving. Serve by itself or with ice cream. Enjoy!
In this past week our Jettie Jean turned 5, graduated from preschool and had a dance recital. Phew… that’s a lot for a little girl (but really her mom). Looking back I could not be more proud of how she handled it all, especially knowing how easily overwhelmed she can get (like her mom). The week ended a little rocky but we made it to the end with a girl still smiling and that’s all that really matters.
I am so happy we took the time to do this Poppins shoot. Jettie seems to be developing the same party bug that I have…these images are going to mean a lot to both of us in the years ahead.
We initially were going to do a white button up, black skirt and red ribbon “bow tie” for Jettie’s Mary Poppins look. Very easy and classic. It was a last minute decision to grab this dress as I was leaving the morning of her party. I thought it’s her party…let her choose between skirt or dress. [Plus I got the dress on clearance last year and hadn’t seen it on her yet.]
Of course she chose dress and it was the best decision ever. [Big thanks to my mom for the absolutely FABULOUS umbrella.]
If you know Jettie you know the images below are so her. Girl can not stay serious, no matter how hard she tries. [That middle one kills me!]
The hat, the dress, the gloves, the umbrella…they are all fabulous. But my fave is the girl rocking them, and she always will be.
It feels like last week that I was snapping pics and sending this girl off to preschool. Now here we are, on her last day, with her very first “summer break” starting. May is pulling at my heartstrings like no other.
I really was not sure what to think of sending Jettie to school. It is hard to watch your child grow, while at the same time feel pride in knowing they’re inching closer to independence and individuality. As parents we worry, because that is what we naturally do. Would she love it? Would she make friends? How would she adapt? Deep down we knew those answers already. Of course she loved absolutely everything about school, and for that we are grateful.
On Jettie’s 1st day of school we were up early with everyone fed, dressed and ready to go. This morning only half of us fit that description…as you can see below. (If this was a picture of Sticky and I – Bing would be me, Jettie would be Sticky.)
Dear summer, I am so excited to have you here. Please, somehow, go by slow and lazy. This mom needs to savor her babies a bit more.
A sure fire way to fill bellies without a lot of fuss is to go the pasta salad route. Almost every party I throw has a bowl of pasta salad sitting somewhere. If you are thinking… “Pasta salad is pretty boring, Brandy.”, you are sort of right. It can be boring, that’s for sure, but it doesn’t have to be.
This caprese version is easy. So very yummy. And not boring in any way.
You can go one of 2 routes with this salad: red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar. Personally I prefer the balsamic but it does discolor the mozzarella in a way that is not nearly as visually stimulating as the red wine. Plus the red wine vinegar tastes pretty darn good as well. In other words you can’t go wrong either way….so use what you have on hand.
Jettie more than likely would not touch this with a 10 foot bowl (there are ribbons of green stuff, her worse nightmare). Bing on the other hand, went right in and grabbed one of those green ribbons. He didn’t end up actually eating it of course…but at least he went back in for pasta.
While this is perfect for a get together, it also makes a great salad to have sitting in the fridge for quick nibbles. We have been go, go, go since the beginning of May. Having a salad like this on hand makes for a nice filling meal without being too heavy or unhealthy.
Boil the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Drain pasta (don to rinse) and place in medium bowl. Add the red wine vinegar and olive oil and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool about 15 minutes on counter and then an hour in fridge.
Once pasta is cooled, add the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and lemon. Combine will. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Keep in fridge until ready to serve. Great super chilled or at room temp.