This lovely strawberry goat cheese crostini with fresh basil just screams summer! The toasted bread gets topped with strawberries, fresh goat cheese, basil, and balsamic glaze for an easy summer appetizer.
This recipe is a perfect balance of simplicity and sophistication. It only uses a handful of ingredients, including fresh summer produce in the form of strawberries and basil. Yet the bright color and flavor combo make it feel very elegant.
You can whip up these Strawberry Basil Crostini in less than 30 minutes to give you an amazing appetizer for your next get-together. Or enjoy it for a light lunch or an afternoon snack...or maybe even for breakfast! 🙂
This is hands down one of the simplest appetizers around. And it only uses a few ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
Baguette: I like to use a sourdough baguette if I can find one, but any baguette-style bread will work. If possible, ask the bakery to slice it for you so you have slices with uniform thickness.
Fresh strawberries: Medium-sized strawberries work the best for this recipe.
Soft goat cheese: One small log of goat cheese should be four ounces. Use your favorite brand.
Fresh basil: If you are growing basil, garden-fresh is always the best option. Otherwise, just use fresh from the grocery store or farmer's market.
Balsamic glaze: This has become a fairly common ingredient so you can find it in most major grocery stores, including Whole Foods and Trader Joe's. In a pinch, you could substitute balsamic vinegar though it will make the bread quite soggy so I don't really recommend it.
Mascarpone: You can find mascarpone in most major grocery stores, typically in the deli section near the goat cheese, feta, parmesan, etc. You can substitute cream cheese if necessary.
Spices: cracked pepper
Pantry staples: olive oil, honey
Notes from the kitchen: I like to keep some balsamic glaze on hand, as it has many fabulous uses. It's fantastic drizzled on tomato mozzarella salad and also on melon and prosciutto. It keeps for many months in the pantry so I'd highly recommend giving it a try if you haven't used it before.
Tips for making crostini
Crostini is one of my favorite party appetizers. In a just few simple steps, you'll have a delightful summer appetizer ready for your guests.
Toast the bread. You'll start by brushing both sides of the bread lightly with olive oil. Grill at 400°F for 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown and grill marks are visible. Grilling bread is a great way to toast bread in the warmer months. You can also toast in the oven for 4-5 minutes.
Slice the strawberries. Slice the strawberries from the top (stem end) to the bottom in thin slices. If they are really large, you may want to cut the slices in half, also longways.
Assemble the crostini. Once the toasts are cool enough to safely handle, top each slice with a smear of goat cheese, followed by several strawberry slices. Top with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Crostini are best served immediately. Enjoy!
What's the difference between crostini and bruschetta?
Crostini means little toasts. So crostini typically uses small, thin slices of bread that are brushed with olive oil and toasted. They are almost always served with some type of topping.
Bruschetta comes from the Italian word bruscare, which means to "roast over coals" and is typically made from larger, thicker slices of bread that are rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. Sometimes it is just served plain, with no toppings.
Though there are technically differences, you'll often find the two terms used somewhat interchangeably.
This crostini makes the perfect start to a summer backyard party menu. It also makes a great summer afternoon snack or even a light lunch.
For a party menu, I'd add this Summer Tortellini Pesto Pasta Salad, this Tuscan White Bean Salad, and these Pulled Pork Sliders. I'd finish with either this Lemon Lavendar Naked Cake or these Mini Lemon Cheesecakes.
A nice wine pairing with this recipe is a sparkling Rosé.
More summer appetizer ideas
tools you may want want for this recipe
Serrated knife (not an affiliate link) – I find this is the best knife to use for slicing both bread and cheese.
Strawberry Basil Crostini
- 1 tabelspoon olive oil, extra virgin
- 14 baguette slices
- 1 cup strawberries, sliced
- 4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon mascarpone
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
- balsamic glaze
- Grill the baguette slices. Lightly brush both sides of each slice. Place on a grill heated to 400°F and grill for 2 minutes per side, until the edges are crunchy. Remove the toasts from the grill and let them cool.
- Mix the goat cheese. While the toasts are grilling, place the goat cheese in a small bowl. Add the mascarpone, honey and cracked pepper. Mix well.
- Slice the strawberries. Slice the strawberries from the top (stem end) to the bottom in thin slices. If they are really large, you may want to cut the slices in half, also longways.
- Assemble the crostini. Once the toasts are cool enough to safely handle, top each slice with a smear of goat cheese, followed by several strawberry slices. Top with fresh basil and a drizzle of balsamic glaze. Crostini are best served immediately.