Artichoke, Mushroom, and Leek Crostini with Pesto

I love this recipe because it is so complex. When you take a bite you discover layers on top of layers of rich and nutrient dense flavors that perk up the palette and leave you reaching for another. It starts with a base of artichoke and then is topped with a leek and mushroom saute and then is finished off with the star of the show, a bright and perfectly acidic dollop of pesto. Make this for a dinner party and I’d be willing to bet that your guests will be asking for the recipe before they make it onto the main course.

Artichoke, Mushroom, and Leek Crostini with Pesto
Recipe from Alicia Silverstone’s The Kind Diet

1 french baguette cut into 1 inch slices
2 tablespoons olive oil

Artichoke Spread
1 can whole, water-packed artichoke hearts, drained
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon vinegar

Leek and Mushroom Mixture
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3-4 cloves of chopped garlic
2 cups thinly sliced leek
2 cups sliced button mushrooms

1 cup fresh basil leaves
3/4 cup raw pine nuts
1/4 cup lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Here’s How

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Blend the artichoke hearts, olive oil, and vinegar in a food processor until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Combine the oil, vinegar, soy sauce, and a few pinches of salt in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic, leek, and mushrooms to skillet and saute uncovered for 2-3 minutes stirring occasionally.
  4. Cover skillet, reduce heat to low, and braise mixture until leek is tender and browned, about 5-10 minutes. Remove lid and allow remaining liquid to cook off. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Blend the basil, pine nuts, lemon juice, vinegar, and oil in the food processor until smooth. Season to taste.
  6. Brush the slices of bread lightly with oil on both sides and arrange on a baking sheet. Sprinkle lightly with salt and bake until the bread is lightly browned and crispy at edges.
  7. Spread the artichoke mixture on the bread, mound the leek mixture generously on top, and finish with a dollop of pesto.
  8. Serve and enjoy!