Tomato & Chevre Crostini

by Jenn on May 9, 2011

in Photography,Snacks,Vegetarian

Ready to make crostini

I grew up in a small town.  When I was in high school, I think most of my social activities out with friends included some conversation along the lines of “There’s nothing to do in this town, I’m so freaking tired of the same old same old!”  Wow how short sighted we were back then, because now whenever I return to my old stomping grounds, all I see is beauty.  Afterall, this was literally my backyard!

Backyard where I grew up circa 2005

And just down the street a ways are the most gorgeous parks, and orchards…

So much beautiful nature, how did I not recognize it while I had so much opportunity to enjoy it??

“Nothing to do,” I said? Ha and one of my favorite activities was to hike around and be outdoors!

My roots.

Connecticut

Gah, the silly thoughts we have when we are young, and hindsight is always 20/20 they say.  That much is true at least.  And every time I go back to my hometown I realize over and over again how gorgeous a place we really did grow up in.

I’m trying not to make that mistake twice.  It’s a big reason why I got involved in photography – learning to recognize beauty for what it is, that is one of the most important parts of photography to me.  Because of my experience learning how to use my camera, I’ve been learning how to see light.  I see sunlight filtering in through my parents’ kitchen while my dad makes lemonade for my sister’s family and friends as she celebrates her wedding, and I can mentally see the magic and the moment that must be preserved:

Making Lemonade

And learning how to recognize beauty in simple things around me like a tall forest edge as seen through my camera has made me understand life a little bit more, and allowed me to extend that appreciation to so many other facets of life.

I see how even on a cloudy dreary day threatening to rain at any moment, light caresses my sister and her now husband as they share a quiet moment together in front of the trees talking to their reflections on the water:

My sister and her fiancé

And I realize why this has become my passion.  Because I love how light articulates a story in the same way words set a scene on a page, and I love finding ways to use that light to express my own interpretations of beauty. And I don’t have to travel the world to find what means the most in life, all I have to do is go right back home to where I began.  To see the people I love and care for, and participate in their lives and moments that will be cherished years from now.  Because those moments, those memories, those relationships, that’s what really matters.

The simple pleasures matter too – ones like seeing an orchard full of ripe apples for the picking on a clear Autumn day – they are a gateway to some of the most complex sets of emotions, tying memories and experiences together.  Those simple pleasures and beauties are the ones we most likely take for granted, and are often some of the most valuable.

And I love cooking for the same reasons – because cooking is often the start of those memories, and cooking results in the ultimate simple pleasure – an ephemeral moment of taste, whose only preservation is by cooking it again, incorporating into that taste new memories that continuously build upon the last.

And sometimes, simplicity is the beauty.  Like with these crostini.

I love making crostini because you can put whatever you feel like on them, and pretty much do whatever you want.  And they’re awesome if you are gluten free, because toasting bread forgives the wrongs of many a badly botched gluten free bread.  For this version I used baguette, a rare chance I have to enjoy warm fresh out of the oven glutenicious baguette.

But we’ll make these with gluten free baguettes when I’m sharing with my husband (since he is the gluten-intolerant one).  Or slice up some of our favorite gluten free rolls.  Heck even gluten free sandwich bread, it doesn’t really matter what type of gluten free bread you use, I’ve yet to find one that didn’t do well served this way.

Crostini

For this version I spread on my favorite pepper crusted chevre, added some cherry tomato slices and basil and popped them in the toaster oven (it’s too hot for the real oven).  A few minutes later, my crostini were ready.

Crostini are little bites of flavorful simplicity – and in that, they too are beautiful.  Don’t take that beauty for granted.  Enjoy every minute of it while you can, whether it’s an amazing once in a lifetime event celebrating one of the most important days of your sister’s life, or just a momentary pop of crunchy chevre and tomato flavor in your mouth :)

Also submitted to – Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Tiffany May 10, 2011 at 2:27 am

I love your photos and appreciate your photography tips!

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:18 am

Thanks!

Reply

Erin Swing May 10, 2011 at 3:19 am

Stunning photos!

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:18 am

Thanks Erin!

Reply

Heather Jacobsen May 10, 2011 at 4:24 am

I *love* crostini. Back in the days when I was happily eating gluten (ignorance is bliss!) unknowing its affect on my body, I worked at an Italian restaurant and the made the most delicious crostini with fresh mozz and a tomato herb relish with balsamic vinagariette. That was 13 years ago! Shows you how good it was, that I can still remember it! :) I have to say that I am jealous of your ability to eat glutinous bread, but you’ve inspired me to make a crostini on whatever gluten-free bread vehicle I have!

As always, beautiful pictures. :)

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:21 am

Thanks Heather, and yes, make it with gluten free bread, it still works great especially for crostini!!

Reply

Barbara | VinoLuciStyle May 10, 2011 at 4:39 am

I love the dish..for some reason I haven’t really eaten today and now this is all I crave.

But beyond that Jenn…your photos are beautiful. Your heart is in them and it shows. The food, the people, everything. If our ‘friends’ at you know where don’t agree…well they are, in a nutshell, NUTZ.

You go girl…

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:24 am

Awww thanks Barbara! Ha crostini just happened to be what I was craving today :)

Reply

Prerna@IndianSimmer May 10, 2011 at 6:01 am

So true, u don’t have to travel the world to find out what’s really important. Just go back home and u’ll know what the REAL world is for u! Love the post and all the photos are just gorgeous Jenn. Wish your sister and her husband a very happy married life and good to see u back :-)

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:26 am

Thanks Prerna! I always learn such great lessons when I am home :)

Reply

Rosa May 10, 2011 at 8:06 am

Gorgeous clicks! I really love the third one.

Delicious little crostini! Great summer food.

Cheers,

Rosa

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thanks Rosa!

Reply

InTolerantChef May 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

It’s nice to stop and take time to smell the crostini! Especially when they’re hot out the oven wafting the basily goodness through the house. Lovely photos!

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thanks!! I love the smell of fresh basil…

Reply

Kelly May 10, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Ooo your pictures are gorgeous and this looks delicious! I love the recipe :) Definitely a keeper!

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Thanks!!

Reply

Peggy May 10, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Hi, I was wondering where you located the gluten free baquette or if you made it.
It looks so much like the real deal. Love your blog. Thanks Peggy

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I mentioned in the post above but maybe it wasn’t clear, the baguettes pictured in these photos were indeed glutenicious, as only my husband, not I, have a gluten issue. However, we do purchase gluten free baguettes regularly from our local health foods stores, the particular brand we buy here in Switzerland is Schär – I don’t know if they are available in the U.S. or not, but here’s a previous post showing what the gluten free baguettes that we buy look like. I have not tried making my own gluten free baguettes yet… that is definitely on my list of items to conquer!

*Annoying but probably mandatory disclaimer* – I am in no way affiliated with Schär nor was I compensated in any way to mention them here. We just like to buy their gluten free bread products.

Reply

Kathryn May 10, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Sometimes I wish I had grown up in a town like that, where you have nature at your fingertips. I grew up with Chicago at my fingertips, which was great, but it was no apple orchard. Those crostinis look absolutely delicious. There’s nothing better in this world than goat cheese!

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm

Ha funny how easy it is to want the opposite of what we have… and I agree, I heart goat cheese :)

Reply

Sophia May 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm

What a gorgeous place to grow up!! Your crostini looks so tasty too! I’ve actually never have chevre but it sounds yummy!

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm

Thanks! I love chevre, it’s a really smooth style of goat cheese :)

Reply

Tiffany May 10, 2011 at 10:51 pm

Your photos are STUNNING! The landscapes make me miss New England … and your crostini are making me crave goat cheese! :D

Reply

Jenn May 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Oh thanks so much!!

Reply

Meredith @A Busy Nest May 11, 2011 at 2:11 am

I have some chevre in my fridge and now I know just what I’m going to do with it! Thanks for sharing this!

Reply

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Oh yay, enjoy!!

Reply

Jessica May 11, 2011 at 7:17 am

How did you not win for the photography blog? I call a recount! Simply amazing Jenn! I want you to come teach me all that you know one day!!

Reply

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm

aww you are too sweet Jessica – it would be awesome to hang out sometime!

Reply

Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite May 11, 2011 at 12:14 pm

Your photos are stunning Jenn and I can totally relate to seeing your hometown through different eyes. When I was back in Adelaide in 2009, I was totally enamoured with so much about it yet when I lived there all I wanted to do was leave! Crostini? Could live on the stuff!

Reply

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 8:14 pm

Ha yeah that sounds familiar… funny how our roots can pull us back like that and yet when we were young we wanted totally the opposite. Thanks Mardi!

Reply

Snippets of Thyme May 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Your photography is beautiful. I am really enjoying moving from one photo to the next. I seem to gravitate to so many vegetarian dishes even though I am not purely vegetarian. Have a wonderful day!

Reply

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Oh thanks so much! I enjoy many vegetarian dishes too, especially if I have beautiful cherry tomatoes like these :)

Reply

maria elena May 11, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Simplu dar apetisant!!!!!!!!

Reply

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 8:15 pm

Thanks !!

Reply

alyce May 11, 2011 at 8:31 pm

congrats on your top 9!

Reply

Jenn May 11, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Thank you!

Reply

Courtney May 14, 2011 at 4:26 am

Beautiful photos. Very inspiring :-)

Reply

Jenn May 14, 2011 at 7:44 am

Thank you !

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: