These crostini appetizers are the perfect balance between sweet and savory. Purple opal basil is a bit milder but more savory than its cousin sweet basil and combines well with the flavor of sheep Gouda. The crostini and apple gives a crunchy texture while the fresh mozzarella and pesto adds a wonderful creaminess. All the flavors combined make for the perfect bite!
This Friday, we attended one of Robby’s work barbeques. It was a lot of fun and great to meet some of Robby’s co-workers I haven’t met before. One of them was a guy named Val, he asked me what I did and I said I had a food blog. He got excited and said, “my wife also has a food blog” and proceeded to show me on his phone. I was impressed to say the least! I briefly met her towards the end of the party. Her name is Elena and her blog is “Urban Kitchen Affairs“, check it out! For the barbeque, I made a large Greek salad and some crostini very similar to these purple basil and sheep Gouda pesto crostini, which were devoured in minutes. I plan to share the recipe with you in the near future.
This appetizer goes perfect with a nice Rosé, Rueda or a Prosecco.
- Purple Basil and Sheep Gouda Pesto
- 2 1/2 Cups Purple Opal Basil
- 3/4 Cup Sheep Gouda – shredded and packed
- 1/2 Cup Raw Walnuts
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
- 1 French Baguette – 1/2 inch sliced
- 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil – or as needed
- 2 Container Fresh Mozzarella – small balls – sliced in half
- 1 – 2 Fuji Apples – cored – sliced
- 1 Recipe Purple Basil and Sheep Gouda Pesto
- Fresh Basil Leaf – garnish
Wash and thoroughly dry the basil. Measure all ingredients and add to a food processor or blender and puree. Set aside.
Place slices on to a baking sheet and 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 while watching. They cook faster on the 2nd side because they are already hot.
Spread the pesto onto each crostini, add a slice of apple, top with 3 or more halfs of mozzerella and a fresh basil leaf.
Apples are so incredibly healthy, they fight the effects of aging on the brain and they contain the antioxidants therein, which is helpful in protecting you from Parkinson’s. Eating apples have been linked to a decreased risk of strokes. Apples rich in flavonol could help reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23%. Soluble fiber found in apples lowers cholesterol and the skins also prevents the cholesterol from solidifying on your artery walls. The fiber also helps to prevent gallstones and they even help reduce tooth decay. They regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the uptake of glucose from your blood that stimulates insulin receptors.
Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zea-xanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease. It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver. It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to you water or tea.