This post was created in partnership with Colavita. All opinions are our own.
You could be riding on the subway or reading this on a train / perhaps you’re in a car or flying high up in a plane / you could be stuck at work or relaxing in your home / you may be in a crowded park sitting all alone / you might be with your family or eating lunch with friends / you could be on vacation, it really just depends / if you’re lying on a sandy beach or camping by a lake / walking down a busy street or browsing on your break / we have a new hors d’oeuvre that we think you will adore / the moment that you try it, you’ll immediately want more / so sit back, relax, and fasten your seatbelts / while we tell you all about our Grilled Cheese Crostini Melts.
Let the crostini carousing commence! It’s been so fun working with Colavita this year. They’re a family brand with a passion for producing the highest quality olive oils and have been distributing products around the world since 1979. Today we’re using their Premium Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, which makes these tiny toasts truly terrific.
The appetizers for your next summer party are officially sorted. Crostini—or “little toasts” in Italian—are small, thin slices of toasted bread traditionally prepared open-faced with a variety of savory toppings. But today we are stacking two toasts together to make mini grilled cheeses with all the flavors of summer. In this quick recipe, crusty baguette slices are brushed with Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil and grilled in a hot skillet until golden. Filled with melty gruyère, heirloom tomatoes, fresh zucchini, sautéed corn, sliced scallions, and an easy homemade pesto, these scrumptious sandwiches are sure to be scarfed swiftly!
Grilled Cheese Crostini Melts
Makes about 10
For the pesto (makes about 1 cup / 227 ml):
1/3 cup (50 g) pine nuts
2 large handfuls (50 g) fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup (57 g) parmesan cheese, grated
2 large garlic cloves (about 10 g), minced or pressed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 ear of corn
1 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
a few tablespoons of Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for brushing
8 ounces (227 g) gruyère cheese, grated
8 ounces (227 g) tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, cut into ribbons using a vegetable peeler
3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced
red pepper flakes, if desired
To make the pesto:
Place the pine nuts in a cool, dry skillet. Set over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until the nuts begin to turn golden brown and aromatic, 5 to 7 minutes. Immediately transfer to a heatproof bowl to prevent scorching, and set aside to cool.
In a food processor or blender, combine the basil leaves, grated parmesan, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Add the toasted pine nuts and process until a chunky paste forms, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. With the machine running, slowly pour in the olive oil and blend until smooth. The pesto can be used immediately or transferred to a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week.
To assemble the crostini:
Stand the ear of corn vertically on a cutting board, and use a sharp knife to cut down the sides of the ear, removing all the individual kernels. Place a skillet over medium heat, and when hot, add the corn kernels and cook until slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the corn to a small bowl and set aside.
Brush one side of a baguette slice with olive oil, then lay the slice oil-side-down on a cutting board. Spread a layer of pesto on the bread, then sprinkle a generous layer of grated cheese over the pesto. Lay a few tomato slices over the cheese, then a zucchini ribbon over the tomatoes. Sprinkle some corn kernels and sliced green onion on the zucchini, then top with a pinch of red pepper flakes (if desired) and another generous layer of grated cheese. Brush one side of another baguette slice with olive oil, then place the slice oil-side-up on top of the sandwich. Repeat until you have assembled all the sandwiches.
Place a skillet over medium-low heat. When hot, place as many sandwiches as will comfortably fit in the pan without crowding, leaving about 1 inch between each one. Cover the pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip the sandwiches, cover the pan, and cook until the bottoms are golden brown and the cheese is melty, another 2 to 4 minutes. Serve immediately while hot, and enjoy!