Cooking, Gardening

Pesto, Goat Cheese & Grilled Bacon Crostini

Fresh Basil from the garden    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Fresh Basil from the garden

Summah, Summah, Summah Time… (Summah = summer)

I am a Gemini, born in the month of June, and have forever and always declared summer to be my favorite season.  Perhaps I am reveling in this summer even more because of the never ending Chicagoland winter.  Regardless, I have been celebrating summer with a bountiful harvest from my garden.

Making Pesto  www.morewinelesswhines.com

Making Pesto

My vegetable garden, which measures roughly 25′ x 8′, is flourishing.  It has been raining an incredible amount here and the plants are loving it.  Many of my tomato plants and sunflowers are tipping 5′ +, the lettuce is just petering out, the swiss chard, zucchini and herbs are growing like weeds and  I cannot find bare ground anywhere.

Making Pesto    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Making Pesto

The tomatoes and sunflowers have grown far taller than I expected and are shading out some of the basil.  I harvested the more shaded basil plants and trimmed a few of the huge plants toward the front of the garden for pesto.  This time, I made the pesto with pistachios and 3 different types of basil – Sweet Genovese, Ruby Frills & Emerald Frills.  My goal is to make a batch every week or two so that I have more for the freezer this fall & winter.

Sunflowers and Tomatoes in my garden   www.morewinelesswhines.com

Sunflowers and Tomatoes in my garden

Goat Cheese atop Grilled Baguette Slices    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Goat Cheese atop Grilled Baguette Slices

For a quick, easy summer linner (lunch + dinner, usually served between 2-3 pm), I made pesto while my husband grilled some bacon* and toasted  baguette slices.  We schmeared the baguette slices with a little goat cheese and pesto then topped them with crumbled bacon.  The result?  Simple & delicious food, perfect for a 89 degree Sunday.

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Grilled Bacon Crostini   www.morewineelesswhines.com

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Grilled Bacon Crostini

Pesto, Goat Cheese & Grilled Bacon Crostini

1 baguette, cut into 1/2″ thick slices
extra virgin olive oil
6 strips center cut bacon, cooked and broken into pieces*
5 oz goat cheese
1 batch freshly made pesto
1 baguette, cut into 1/2″ thick slices

Make pesto. Set aside. Brush one side of baguette slices with a little olive oil. Place baguette slice, olive oil side down, on grill a few minutes, taking care not to burn the bread. Using tongs, turn the bread over and grill about 1 minute on the other side. Transfer grilled bread to a serving platter. Spread each baguette slice with some goat cheese, a spoonful of pesto and top with bacon pieces. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

*Note:  Yes, you can grill bacon.  Do it over medium to medium high heat over a gas powered grill  on a big piece of foil, with the edges turned up to make “lips.”  The dangerous part about grilling bacon is if you are not careful, you can end up with a terrible grease fire.  If this makes you nervous,  just cook the bacon in the oven/on the stovetop or buy the precooked kind (Trader Joe’s has a great variety).  If you are up for an adventure, the grilled bacon has a great smokey taste to it.  

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Grilled Bacon Crostini    www.morewinelesswhines.com

Pesto, Goat Cheese and Grilled Bacon Crostini

 

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