Chive Asiago Pesto Crostini with Roasted Red Pepper, Cucumber and Arugula

These Chive Asiago Pesto Crostini are super easy to make yet they are packed with flavor!  The chive pesto and arugula add a nice mild spiciness, the cucumber gives it a much needed crunchy fresh quality and the roasted peppers provide a lovely smoky flavor that ties it all together.

Chive Asiago Pesto Crostini I am so excited about my new ceramic plates I recently purchased from my friend Jasper.  I met Jasper and his friend Tom a number of years ago at the Santa Cruz farmers market located downtown Santa Cruz.  Jasper and Tom sell their beautiful creations in a booth shared with two other ceramic artists.  Jasper and Tom made all of the ceramic bowls you see on my blog.  I have been in need of plates for a long time now and my jaw dropped when Jasper told me that he had made some.  I knew I had to see them!  The following Wednesday, I headed to the farmers market and when I saw the plates, I just about died.  They were gorgeous!!  I bought 3 of them and then he gifted me one.  Sooo sweet!  I absolutely love his signature cat painted on the backsides of two of my new plates!

Chive Asiago Pesto Crostini The annual Santa Cruz Artist Open Studios was on the following Saturday so Robby and I paid a visit to Jasper’s studio.  I found a large bowl that matched my plates and of course I had to have it!  We were there for a while chatting with Jasper and some of his friends.  We learned that one of his artist friend Joao was from the Azores where Robby’s mom’s family originated.  Before Joao new what island, I blurted out you guys are probably related and he said probably not, then asked what island.  Robby said San Miguel and Joao said yup, we probably are related.  Such a small world!  We also got to meet Jasper’s cat the star of the cat mugs and drawings!  It was a fun visit!  Next, we went to see Tom and of course I found another beautiful white bowl.  Tom was busy with a customer so we bought the bowl and headed home.

I am really stoked for Jasper and any of you who might be interested in his ceramics because he is working on a website store and I will share with you once it is up and running! Woohoo!!!

Chive Asiago Pesto Crostini I would pair these with a Pinot Gris, Soave, Sauvignon Blanc or a Tempranillo.

Chive Asiago Pesto Crostini Chive Asiago Pesto Crostini
Recipe:
  • 1 Large Red Bell Pepper – roasted – cut into 24 thin strips – instructions below
  • Chive Asiago Pesto – recipe below
  • 1 Large Cucumber – thinly sliced – quartered (you can leave the skin on if it’s organic, otherwise peel it.)
  • 12 Slices Sourdough Baguette – crostini recipe below
  • Arugula
Pesto
  • 1/2 Cup Chives
  • 1/3 Cups Walnuts
  • 1/3 Cup Aged Asiago Cheese – finely shredded – packed
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice – fresh squeezed
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt – or to taste
Crostini
  • Approx. 12 Slices of Sourdough Baguette
  • Approx. 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions:
Pesto
Cut chives into 1-inch pieces and finely shred the cheese.

Measure all ingredients and put into a food processor or blender and blend well.

Make sure to scrape down the sides at least once.
 Pepper
Roast peppers on the stovetop on medium-high heat.  A gas stove works the best but it will work fine on an electric stove. Char the peppers on all sides turning with a pair of tongs.  When good and charred, steam them for 10 minutes in a covered dish or a paper bag that is rolled shut to hold in the steam.
Take a paper towel and rub off the char.  It’s ok to leave a little of the char.  Cut the top and the bottom off ,then cut one side lengthwise and lay flat. Cut into thin strips the size of your crostini.
Crostini

Slice the bread into 1/2 inch slices.

Place slices onto a baking sheet and with a pastry brush or your fingers, coat both sides with olive oil.

Place on the top shelf of the oven and broil for 1 – 2 minutes then flip them over and broil for about 1 more minute.  Make sure and watch close, they can burn fast.

I usually put the timer on for 1 minute and check, then put on for 1 more minute while watching.  They cook faster on the second side because they are already hot.
 Assemble

Spread the pesto, top with one slice of cucumber that has been cut into 4, top with two strips of roasted pepper and a sprig or two of arugula.  I like to serve some extra cucumber and arugula on the side.

Chive Asiago Pesto Crostini

Health Benefits:
Chives contain flavonoid anti-oxidants, plant fiber, minerals, and vitamins.  It is one of the richest sources of vitamin K, rich in vitamin C and is really high in vitamin A. It reduces cholesterol production in the liver and helps decrease the risk of coronary artery disease.  It also helps to maintain bone mineral density.

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