We all have a million things on our to-do lists, right? Finally address and mail the cards that have been sitting on your desk for weeks, make gifts for the kids’ teachers, wrap something for a gift exchange, pick up the things you special ordered, knit really fast to finish that gift for Christmas. Right? Right? I somewhat enjoy the hustle and bustle but it also feels so, so good when it is over. When everything is complete and you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the fruits of your labor. These crostini are for that time, to enjoy either alone with a glass of wine or as the beginning to a fantastic holiday meal. They work equally well in both scenarios.

Making three kinds of crostini may sound less than simple, but check it out: the bread rounds are crostini-ed with a short go under the broiler (which can be done in advance), all three types start with a base layer of fresh ricotta (a 20 minute cheese making endeavor, also in advance) and each of the three toppings is very simple to make (and, wait for it… can be made well in advance.) These were part of our holiday party spread last weekend and they were perfect. Having all of the toppings in the fridge made it easy to replenish the tray whenever it started looking sparse. And as a side note, the roasted tomatoes and kale pesto also make an excellent omelet. If you have guests staying with you, this can double as both an appetizer and the beginnings of breakfast. Win!

  • Yield about 16-20 servings


For the crostini: 

  • 1 large or 2 mediium baguettes, thinly sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the roasted tomatoes: 

  • 1½ pints grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Generous drizzle of olive oil
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Pinch of sugar

For the herbed honey: 

  • ½ cup honey
  • 1½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp. minced fresh thyme leaves

For the kale pesto:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1½-2 cups kale leaves, stemmed and chopped
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt

To finish:


  • 01

    To make the crostini, heat the broiler to high. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer and brush lightly (or spray) with olive oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Broil briefly, keeping a close eye to avoid burning, until the rounds are browned and crisp. Let cool, then store in an airtight container until ready to use.

  • 02

    To make the roasted tomatoes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Combine the tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and sugar on a rimmed baking sheet and toss well to coat.  Bake for about 40 minutes, tossing once or twice during cooking.  Remove from the oven and let cool.  Store in an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to use.

  • 03

    To make the honey, combine the honey and fresh herbs in a bowl. Mix well. Store covered until ready to use. (If the honey is too thick to drizzle, warm for just a few seconds in the microwave before assembling the crostini.)

  • 04

    To make the pesto, combine the garlic, walnuts and kale in the bowl of a food processor.  Pulse until finely chopped.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl.  With the processor running, add the olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice in a steady stream through the feed tube until smooth.  Add in the Parmesan, salt, and pepper and pulse until combined. Place in an airtight container with a layer of plastic wrap pressed directly on the surface of the pesto. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  • 05

    To assemble the crostini, spread a thin layer of fresh ricotta on each of the baguette rounds and arrange on a serving platter. Top a third of the rounds with the roasted tomatoes, a third with a drizzle of the herbed honey, and a third with a dollop of the kale pesto. Serve.