Pancetta, Blue Cheese, Pesto, and Arugula Crostini

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I know you’re probably thinking, “Not another crostini recipe.” What can I say? When it comes to appetizers, we’re huge fans in this household. As you probably already know, some of my favorite date nights with my husband are when we stop by the market and pick up some fresh ingredients. After arriving home, we open up a bottle of wine and set out appetizers to nosh on before my husband heads out to the grill and I head into the kitchen.

There is hardly a dinner that goes by where we don’t excite our taste buds with an appetizer. Also, if you eat dinner at our house, you’ll probably notice that we tend to eat dinner on the later side. My Dad likes to say that we eat like people in Uruguay. He spent some time there years ago and experienced their late night dinners every night. If we ever go to Uruguay, I’m confident that my husband and I will easily transition and embrace their eating schedule.

Instead of eating dinner at a “normal” hour, we really like to spend time either with each other or with our guests just chatting and catching up over cocktails and appetizers. Often losing track of time thanks to great conversation and story telling, we eventually begin making the main course.

When entertaining guests, the men usually spend time with my husband out by the grill as he prepares the main dish while the women keep me company in the kitchen as I put the finishing touches on the side dishes. When we come together around the dinner table, the food is enjoyed, stories are shared, laughter is expressed, and good times are had by all thanks to great company…whether I’m just with my husband or with dinner guests.

Pancetta, Blue Cheese, Pesto, and Arugula Crostini

Ingredients:

  • 24 1/4-inch thick slices of Ciabatta
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil
  • 1/2 cup pesto sauce
  • 24 slices of pancetta
  • Blue cheese crumbles
  • 2 cups arugula
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees or preheat grill to medium. If you are using the oven, prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Pour the olive oil and dried basil into a bowl and stir to combine. Brush the olive oil mixture on both sides of the bread slices.
  3. Place the bread cut side up on the prepared baking sheet or grill. Bake or grill for 10 minutes or until the bread is slightly toasted and crispy. Remove from the oven or grill.
  4. Spoon 1/2 tablespoon of pesto sauce over the toasted bread slice. 
  5. Top the pesto sauce with one slice of pancetta. 
  6. Place blue cheese crumbles along the pancetta. 
  7. Top the crostini with a few sprigs of arugula.

What is your favorite appetizer?

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