In this recipe adapted from the James Beard Foundation site, diced zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and onion are roasted, then mixed with chopped heirloom tomatoes. The veggies are seasoned with lemon and basil, then spooned on crisp baguette toasts. Balsamic vinegar and shavings of Pecorino Romano cheese add a bold final statement.
- Yields: 24 crostini
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 1 hr 10 mins, plus about 1 hr cooling time
- Active: 35 mins
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 large zucchini, small dice
- 1 yellow squash or golden zucchini, small dice
- 1 Japanese or Chinese eggplant, small dice
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the crostini
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 yellow tomato, diced
- 1 red tomato, diced
- Finely grated zest and juice from 1 lemon
- 8 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade, plus more for garnishing
- 1 baguette, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- Balsamic vinegar, for garnishing
- 4 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler
- Arrange 1 rack in the top third of the oven and another in the bottom third. Heat the oven to 400ºF.
- Mince 1 clove of garlic and add to a medium bowl, along with the zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, and onion. Add the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Spread the vegetable mixture on the 2 sheet pans, using a spatula to distribute it evenly. Roast for 10 minutes, then remove the pans and stir the vegetables to make sure they cook evenly. Return to the oven until the vegetables are lightly browned, about 5 minutes more.
- Remove the pans from the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and immediately add the tomatoes; stir to combine. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- Add the lemon zest and basil chiffonade to the cooled veggie mixture. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste.
- Meanwhile, add the baguette slices to a large bowl and add enough olive oil to coat each slice. Season with salt and pepper and toss. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a sheet pan and bake until golden brown, about 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and, while the toasts are still hot, lightly brush one side of each slice with the remaining garlic cloves.
- To serve, place a heaping tablespoon of the vegetable mixture on each baguette slice. Lightly drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with a few shavings of Pecorino Romano. Garnish with small basil leaves.