Summer Crostini with Garden Pestos

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crostini with garden pestos Now that summer is in full swing there’s usually always something to harvest daily from our veggie garden, some days it’s just a few stalks of kale or swiss chard, a tiny bunch of broccolini or a few cherry tomatoes. Nothing yet to make a huge meal from, but perfect for making small bites!

garden basil One thing I do have an abundance of right now are fresh herbs, the rain just exploded their growth. Basil, mint, thyme, rosemary, parsley, sage and tarragon are growing all over the place and I feel so guilty if I don’t use them all!

garden herbs I was recently gifted with some garlic scapes, (thanks Julie and Ken) so I thought making a few different pestos would be the perfect way to start using up all my bounty.

homemade garden pestos So I made my trusty Basil Pesto, and tried out two new ones, Pea and Mint, and Garlic Scape and Kale Pesto. If you use your food processor you can whip these up in no time! Pesto’s are so versatile you can put them in and on just about anything, pastas, grilled meats, soups, pizzas, veggies, fish, omelettes, I could go on and on, I even throw some in when making egg salad!

crostini with garden pestos Another fun way to eat up your pestos is to slather some on top of  crostini. Crostini are thin slices of toasted bread drizzled with olive oil and garnished with  endless possibilities. By adding  in your favorite charcuterie, grilled veggies, various cheeses, good olives, fresh fruit, etc. you can create an elegant antipasti, lunch or dinner, just don’t forget the wine!

crostini with garden pestos I was in love with this recipe the minute I saw it, a crusty piece of bread topped with pea and mint pesto, creamy Burrata cheese and a slice of prosciutto, this is to die for, it’s a meal in itself! The only thing I changed up in the recipe was the cheese, I used grated parmesan for mine.

If you don’t want to use meat try some thinly sliced grilled zucchini to replace it.   Again, I repeat, to die for!

crostini with garden harvest Here are some other ideas for crostini using up whatever you might have growing in your gardens.

crostini with garden harvest Roasted tomato slices topped with basil pesto***** Mascarpone cheese topped with garlic scape and kale pesto, roasted mushrooms, leeks and thyme*****

Ricotta topped with garlic and red pepper sauteed broccolini***** Goat cheese topped with garlic and red pepper sauteed swiss chard*****

crostini with garden harvest It’s all good! Small bites, big flavor, simple and sophisticated!

Garlic Scape and Kale Pesto
  • 2 garlic scapes cut in chunks
  • 2 cups kale, stems removed
  • ⅓ cup toasted almonds or walnuts
  • ⅓ cup grated romano cheese
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  1. In a food processor add garlic scapes, nuts and kale, pulsing until chopped up fine.
  2. Add in cheese, red pepper and salt and pepper, process until incorporated.
  3. While machine is running, pour olive oil down the tube until you get a loose consistency.
  4. Cover and refrigerate.


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  1. Mary Alice Bier says

    This looks so delicious and so fresh….once again I want to eat the page….beautiful as always Marie

  2. I just made garlic scape pesto for the first time the other day and I’m a huge fan. Now I just have to hope there are still scapes at the Farmer’s Market this weekend so I can try your version with kale!

  3. I would never forget the wine!! This is definitely the way I love to eat!

  4. I could make dinner out of this.

  5. They all look wonderful, Marie! Such a variety of crostini would make an excellent summer dinner or party fare. I love the sound of a pea/mint pesto! So unique!

  6. wow. This all looks fantastic. Your photos are stunning, and you’re so creative. I have a girlfriend coming over this afternoon and I’m using this as inspiration for some munchies. Thanks!!!

  7. Catherine Selefski Roti says

    Hi Maria, My girlfriend told me she read a blog you wrote about Melrose peppers and you mentioned my mom Josephine Selefski. Did you know my mom? We still fry Melrose Peppers every year. Bought a huge bag for the Fourth of July. I am now reading you blog and love it. Thank You so Much.

    • Hi Catherine, I’m sorry but your moms last name doesn’t ring a bell right now, I’ll have to go back and read my old blog post. Enjoy your Melrose peppers, we adore them!

  8. Oh my! It all looks absolutely fabulous…where to even start??!!

  9. My oh my. This is my kind of eating. You make me long to be back home from my vacation, making pestos from my garden plants. Soon Marie. Soon. Who knows what my garden looks like though?

  10. Summer is made for small bites and these are beautiful, delicious and healthy. thanks again, marie

  11. I would like to have everything on the platter please! So summer fresh and beautiful Marie! Amazing photos!!!! Hope you are having a lovely summer and that you’re not getting as much of that weather that Iowa is getting right now.

  12. What a wonderful collection! I say “Bring it on!” I’d love to have a huge tray full, sit on my barge, just like Cleopatra, and float around the pool nibbling on these goodies, Marie!

  13. My kale is out of control. And my garlic scales are gone (genius!). But I will make do. Love having something to do with Kale that is not a salad or soup.