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Roasted Red Pepper Pesto Crostini

A versatile Italian antipasti, crostini lend themselves to endless variations. Here, we top the grilled bread slices with creamy goat cheese and roasted red pepper pesto.

Ingredients:

  • 1 baguette, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded and
      coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. slivered almonds, toasted
  • 3 Tbs. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. goat cheese

Directions:

Preheat an electric panini press according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Arrange the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush lightly on both sides with the 1/4 cup olive oil. Working in batches, place the bread slices on the preheated panini press and cook until light golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. While the crostini are still warm, rub the top of each one with 1 of the garlic cloves. Set aside.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the red peppers, the remaining garlic clove, the almonds, cheese, 3 Tbs. of the parsley, the lemon juice, the 2 tsp. olive oil and the cayenne pepper. Pulse until a coarse puree forms. Season with salt and black pepper.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Place the crostini in a single layer on a baking sheet. Spread about 2 tsp. of the goat cheese on each crostini. Bake until the cheese is slightly soft and the crostini are warm, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter and top each with about 1 Tbs. of the red pepper pesto. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 Tbs. parsley. Makes 24 crostini.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.