Guests rave about these pesto crostini appetizers with peaches and ricotta. The flavor combination is fantastic and they take just 15 minutes with a few simple ingredients.
The sweet juicy peaches pair beautifully with the salty tangy herby pesto and creamy ricotta. They’re the perfect appetizer for summer gatherings.
These crostini appetizers are especially easy to make when you have some leftover pesto on hand. They are best, of course, during peach season.
Ingredients – tailored to your taste
Bread: For this crostini recipe, I like to use multigrain bread, ciabatta or baguette slices. Avoid breads that are too dense or chewy. For a gluten-free version, use gluten free bread.
Pesto: Any kind of pesto will work – basil, spinach, parsley, etc. Here’s a recipe for fresh basil pesto with walnuts that just takes a few minutes.
Ricotta: The recipe uses ricotta cheese, but other good options are goat cheese (earthy and tangy), cream cheese, cottage cheese or burrata cheese (for a luxurious texture).
Peaches: Fresh, sweet peaches are best for this ricotta crostini appetizer. If they are not juicy or sweet enough, add a pinch of sugar or maple syrup. Substitute the peaches tomatoes if peaches are not in season.
Optional garnish: I love to add a dramatic drizzle of balsamic vinegar reduction which you can buy at the grocery store. A drizzle of honey or a light sprinkle of ground cinnamon are two other options.
Step by step instructions
Tips for buying and storing fresh peaches
- Look for peaches that have a sweet aroma and yield slightly when gently pressed. Avoid peaches that are too firm or have bruises or blemishes.
- If your peaches are already ripe, store them at room temperature to allow them to develop their full flavor and juiciness. Avoid direct sunlight and excessive heat.
- For peaches that are still firm, you can speed up the ripening process by placing them in a paper bag at room temperature for a day or two. The bag helps trap ethylene gas, which aids in ripening.
- If you have an abundance of peaches, you can freeze them for future use. (I do this to prolong the peach season). Peel, pit, and slice the peaches, then place them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Once the peach slices are frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container.
Shortcut for Crostini Appetizers
- Buy a good quality store-bought pesto.
- Make all components ahead and assemble the crostini without the peaches. Add peaches and balsamic reduction before serving.
- Alternatively, make components ahead and let guests build their own crostini.
What to serve with peach crostini
Though the flavors in this appetizer work well with almost any main course, here are a few of our favorites:
- grilled Mediterranean chicken
- stuffed portobello mushrooms
- salmon with citrus glaze
- sous vide chicken thighs
Instead of peaches, try nectarines or apricots.
You can customize this recipe with additional toppings like sliced prosciutto or toasted pine nuts.
Other easy appetizer recipes
The pesto crostini with peaches and ricotta will go with any of these other appetizers.
- peach and prosciutto appetizers
- endive ricotta appetizers
- avocado appetizers on crostini
- stuffed mini peppers with goat cheese
- roasted shrimp with gremolata dressing
And be sure to check out our vegetarian appetizers and serving tips.
Check out more delicious peach recipes – including jams, condiments, apps, mains, sides and desserts.
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Pesto Crostini With Peaches and Ricotta
- 4-6 slices multigrain, baguette, ciabatta or gluten-free bread 1/2 inch/1.3 thick, Note 1 (these will be cut to give 12 bite size appetizers)
- olive oil
- 1 clove garlic cut in half horizontally
- 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, Note 2
- 1/4-1/3 cup pesto, Note 3
- 1 large peach or 2 small, diced (sprinkle with a teaspoon sugar if peaches aren't sweet enough)
- OPTIONAL: a drizzle of balsamic glaze either homemade (Note 4) or from the bottle
- MAKE CROSTINI: Toast bread to golden brown. Lightly brush one side of toasts with olive oil, then rub the cut half of garlic clove on the toasts.
- ASSEMBLE: On each toast, spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese, add a layer of pesto. Sprinkle with cut peaches *. Cut each toast into 2-3 smaller pieces. Lay appetizers on a platter. Just before serving, drizzle with Balsamic glaze/reduction if using. * If you dice the peaches ahead of time, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice so they don't turn brown.
- To make grilled bread instead: Whether using outdoor grill or on a grill pan inside, the grill marks add flavor and give your bread a rustic appearance.
- Ricotta cheese substitutes: goat cheese (earthy and tangy), cream cheese, cottage cheese or burrata cheese (for a luxurious texture).
- Pesto: Use any pesto you like or make our basil pesto with walnuts:
- Process in food processor until smooth: 1 cup packed Basil leaves, 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1/4 olive oil. (makes 1/2 cup/126 grams).
- Balsamic Glaze/Reduction: If you can’t find a bottle of Balsamic Glaze/Reduction at the store, you can make it by bringing to boil 1/2 cup/118 ml of balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar, then reducing heat to a simmer and simmering for about 15 minutes until it reduces by half to a syrup consistency (thick enough to coat the back of a spoon).
- More variations: Drizzle honey instead of balsamic reduction. Instead of peaches, try apricots or nectarines. Top with crispy prosciutto or toasted pine nuts.
- Make Ahead
- Make all components ahead and assemble crostini without the peaches. Add peaches and balsamic reduction before serving. Sprinkle lemon juice on peaches if you’re dicing them ahead of time.
- Alternatively, make the components ahead and let guests assemble their own crostini.