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A&E >  Dorothy Dean

Dorothy Dean presents: Strawberry crostini celebrates the season’s flavors

Top crostini with strawberries, bacon, pecans and feta or goat cheese, balsamic and fresh basil, then repeat all summer. (Audrey Alfaro)
Top crostini with strawberries, bacon, pecans and feta or goat cheese, balsamic and fresh basil, then repeat all summer. (Audrey Alfaro)

When I think of summer get-togethers, I think of food. Well, if I wasn’t thinking of it already. I don’t know about you, but that’s how my brain operates. Always revolving around food.

What will I make?

What will I bring?

Should I make this?

Or, no, I’ll make that.

Food that celebrates the bounties of the season is what summer cooking is all about. Whether from your garden, a grocery store or farmers market, there’s nothing more rewarding than picking the freshest produce and creating vibrant recipes to showcase your harvest.

A common factor in my arsenal of summer entertaining recipes is food that is light, fresh and bright.

This strawberry crostini hits all those notes and then some.

Crisp, toasted crostini are topped with a mixture of strawberries, bacon, pecans and feta, then finished with a drizzle of balsamic glaze and fresh basil. The combination is scrumptious, sweet, salty, tangy and fresh.

You can swap out the strawberries for grilled peaches, watermelon or avocados. And if you’re a goat cheese fan, toss that in instead of feta. The balsamic glaze is easy to make, but you can always grab a bottle at the store.

Serve this colorful and light appetizer with a crisp pinot grigio or a fruity rosé. It’s best enjoyed in the company of friends with good music in the background and a sunset in the works. Repeat all summer.

Strawberry Crostini with Bacon, Pecans and Feta Cheese

Adapted from closetcooking.com

For the balsamic glaze:

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar (honey, agave, or maple syrup can also be used)

For the crostini:

12 slices baguette

olive oil

2 cups strawberries, chopped

4 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup basil, julienned

Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

For the balsamic glaze: Add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar to a small saucepan and simmer over medium heat until it reduces and thickens, (glaze should coat back of spoon) about 5 minutes, and let cool.

For the crostini: Drizzle or brush the baguette slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and toast or grill until light golden brown. Add the strawberries, bacon, pecans and feta to a mixing bowl and season lightly with salt and pepper to taste and toss to combine. To serve, top each bread slice with a dollop of the strawberry mix, drizzle with the balsamic glaze and garnish with the basil.


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