For date night, I love to make an appetizer before diving into each meal.  Italian is [clearly] one of my favorite cuisines, and Italy is my favorite country to visit.  I have so much respect and awe for the rich culinary history, and take every opportunity to enjoy a genuine Italian dish.

This recipe is along the lines of Italian, as it encompasses a few of the basic flavors : mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and garlic.  I can’t tell you how pleased I was with how these crostinis turned out!

There are a few major notes to remember:  

  1. Be sure to rub the garlic clove onto each crostini.  For eight crostinis, I used an entire clove.
  2. Do coat both sides of the crostini with olive oil, salt and pepper.  You only need to rub the garlic clove on one side though.
  3. I only used one tomato for my trial run, and it DID work, but I felt that the crostinis were skimpy on the tomatoes.  Use two.  The flavor from roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper is beautiful and plush.  More of that can never hurt. 

This is really a simple process with huge results.  Enjoy!

[my additional tips!]:

Actual Prep / cook time:  about 30 minutes.

Clean-up difficulty:  3

Overall difficulty to make:  2

Overall satisfaction:  9 – these are addicting!

Price range?  This dish is under $5 for two.

What I would change next time?  Not a thing!

For your own version, I recommend:

  • Don’t skip the garlic rub!  I was super impressed with how well this simple step really made me fall in love with the whole crostini.  
  • I tried this recipe again using an Italian cheese blend rather than mozzarella, as the cheese blend tends to be a little more ‘on hand’ for me than mozz.  Personally, I think the mozzarella os better, but either one will work!  If you do go the Italian blend route, layer the crostini like this : pesto first, tomatoes second, cheese last [on top].

© 2015 : a flavor journal : by sara alvord

pinterest crostinis

mozzarella, pesto + tomato crostinis.
Serves 2
Simple flavors meld together perfectly for this date night appetizer or crowd pleaser: mozzarella, pesto + tomato crostinis are easy, fun and so delicious!
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1/2 loaf french bread, cut into thin slices
  2. 3 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1 tsp. salt
  4. 1 tsp. pepper
  5. 1/2 package fresh mozzarella
  6. 2 tbsp. pesto (recipe here)
  7. 2 on-the-vine tomatoes
  8. 1 clove garlic
  1. Cut the French loaf into thin slices, about 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Place all crostinis onto a baking sheet, leaving just a little room between each.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 3 T olive oil with 1 t salt and 1 t pepper.
  3. Using a small brush, gently paint the olive oil mixture onto one side of each crostini.
  4. Pop into a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes. Pull out baking sheet, flip each crostini over, drizzle with olive oil, top with freshly cracked sea salt and pepper, and bake again for 5 minutes.
  5. Pull entire baking sheet out and set on top of stove. Rub a raw garlic clove over the top of each piece of bread, until entire clove is used amongst all crostinis.
  6. Lay a medium-sized slice of mozzarella upon each piece. Note: You want the mozzarella to cover almost the entire surface of the bread!
  7. Pop back into the oven for about 7 minutes, until the mozzarella is melted.
a flavor journal.