Happy end of summer! I love late August – it finally starts to cool off around here (meaning the temperatures finally start to dip into the double digits), and people who have gardens have so many extra veggies they start giving them away. They magically appear in the break room at work and in little plastic bags on your front doorstep- yay! The tomatoes are perfect- they have fully ripened on the vine and taste nothing like those red cardboard globes you find in the produce section in January. This dish is both easy to make and really delicious – and there is no such thing as using too much garlic in it….promise.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof by Ina Garten, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, All Rights Reserved
6 ounces good feta, crumbled
2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup good olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced shallots (2 shallots)
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 cloves)
2 tablespoons good red wine vinegar
2 pounds ripe heirloom or cherry tomatoes, 1/2-inch-diced
1/2 sourdough or french baguette, sliced on the diagonal
3 tablespoons julienned fresh basil, plus more for garnish
For the whipped feta, place the feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse until the cheeses are mixed. Add 1/3 cup of the olive oil, the lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and process until smooth.
For the tomatoes, up to an hour before your’re serving, combine the shallots, garlic, and vinegar in a medium bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Whisk in the remaining 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the tomatoes, stir gently, and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir in the basil and taste for seasonings.
Place baugette slices on a foil lined pan and set oven to broil for 4-5 minutes.
To assemble the crostini, spread each slice of bread with a generous amount of whipped feta. With a slotted spoon, place the tomatoes on top. Put the crostini on plates and sprinkle with extra basil and serve.