1 French baguette
2 Tbs. salted butter, room temperature
8 oz. goat cheese, room temperature
8 oz. pesto (recipe follows)
1 lb. lump blue crab meat, gently picked carefully for shell
Two medium vine-ripe tomatoes (about 6 oz.), diced
1 bottle balsamic glaze to drizzle, Colavita preferred
For the Pesto:
1/2 cup pine nuts
3 oz. Parmesan, grated (about 3/4 cup)
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
6 cups basil leaves
3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Slice the baguette on a 45-degree bias and arrange the slices on a rimmed baking sheet. Brush them with the softened butter. Toast them in the oven until golden brown, five to seven minutes. Set aside to cool.
Spread the goat cheese on the toasted baguette slices. Spoon pesto on top. Divide the crab meat between the slices. Sprinkle with diced tomatoes and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.
For the Pesto:
Toast the pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet in a 350°F oven, tossing them once halfway through, until golden brown, about five to seven minutes. Set aside to cool. Combine the pine nuts, cheese, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely ground, about one minute. Add the basil and pulse. With the food processor running, stream in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. Pulse in the salt.
Note: The pesto can be made one day ahead. Top with 1/2 inch of olive oil to prevent browning. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface and refrigerate.
Chef’s Notes: “Bringing the goat cheese to room temperature makes it easier to spread. I wear latex gloves so that I can smooth the cheese on the toasted baguette slices with my thumb.”