Back when we watched a lot of Food Network, Dan and I used to joke that all Giada DiLaurentiis ever makes is crap on toast. Which isn't entirely true, although almost every episode features crostini with some sort of overpronounced Italian topping. Like Prooosckuuuittto.
But Giada has a point. Crostini are so simple to make and everyone loves them. Put a tray of pretty little toasts in front of people and they will be inhaled before you blink. And if you're going to go the crostini route, now is a pretty great time to do it. The best thing about summer produce is that it doesn't require much fussing. Things like peaches and tomatoes are perfect atop a slice of toasted baguette with a little seasoning or herbs.
I feel silly even giving you Giada-style recipes for these, but here are two simple ideas making the dinner party rounds at our house.
Peaches, goat cheese, basil, and black pepper
For one half of a baguette, you'll need about two peaches and about three ounces of softened chevre. A handful of basil leaves will do. Don't skimp on the freshly cracked black pepper--the spiciness brings all of the flavors together.
Pan con tomate (sort of)The traditional Spanish method is to rub half of a very ripe tomato over toasted bread slices that have been lightly rubbed with a clove of garlic. I find that it's easier to grate the tomato with a box grater, then pile the shreds on top of the toast. For a finishing touch, I added some olive oil and rosemary sea salt (a present from my lovely mother-in-law). You can easily make your own salt blend by mixing coarse sea salt with a pinch of dried rosemary. Don't overdo it, though.