Apricot Crostini Recipe + The Process of Recipe Development

Apricot Crostini
People often ask me how I come up with my recipes. My biggest inspiration is the farmers market–I look for what’s in season and what looks good and build recipes around that. When I come up with an idea, I add it to a running list I have of recipes to develop. Some of the ideas never leave the list, while others end up on my blog a week or two later.

Apricots
I test my recipes multiple times, both to iron out the kinks and to make sure I can duplicate the same results more than once. Occasionally after a few trials, a recipe ends up being something completely different than my original idea. I usually write down a rough outline of a recipe on a notepad before I start cooking; as I cook, I make adjustments to ingredients, cooking times, and methods. When I finally feel happy enough with something that I’m ready to post it on my blog, I type it up on my computer and I have my husband look at it to make sure each step is easy to understand and that I’m not missing anything important. (This has happened in the past! When you know in your head what to do in a recipe, sometimes you miss the fact that you’ve omitted steps in the instructions.)

Flavor Bible
Aside from the farmers market, my other big source of inspiration for recipe development is browsing through The Flavor Bible. Julie from Burnt Carrots mentioned it in a post and I decided to buy it based on her recommendation and I’m glad I did–it rarely leaves my coffee table because I find myself browsing through it so often. It’s essentially a reference book for recipe development. Just about any ingredient you can think of, from epazote to pomegranate molasses, is listed in the book, along with flavors that work well with said ingredient. Although I do think I have a pretty good idea of which flavors work together and which ones don’t, The Flavor Bible has introduced me to new combinations that I wouldn’t have thought of on my own.

Honey and Apricots
And then sometimes I get inspiration from other dishes. That’s how I came up with this Apricot Crostini recipe. Several weeks ago, I was at a kitchen store that was serving samples of a fig, brie and arugula panini. It was delicious, so I made a mental note of it. After returning home from vacation with bags full of honey from The Savannah Bee Company, I had the idea to make that panini and add honey to it. Then I decided to substitute apricots for figs. And instead of brie, I used ricotta. Having done quite a few sandwich recipes on my blog, I thought I’d make crostini instead. Suddenly, the panini made with brie and figs became crostini topped with ricotta, apricots, and a healthy drizzle of honey.

Apricot Crostini Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: about 16 crostini

Serving Size: 2 crostini

Apricot Crostini Recipe

A summery appetizer made with crusty French bread and sliced apricots. Feel free to substitute brie or farmer's cheese for the ricotta.

Ingredients

  • 1 demi-baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 c. ricotta cheese (I used low-fat)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 small apricots, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • a handful of arugula (optional--it adds a nice peppery contrast to the sweetness of the apricots and honey)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread slices on baking sheet and top each with ricotta, salt and pepper, and apricot slices. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until crostini is nicely toasted. Drizzle with honey and top with arugula (if using).
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Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and head writer of Oh My Veggies. She lives just outside of Raleigh with her husband and their 4 wonky-eyed rescue cats.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. says

    I love how thorough you are with your recipes! I have a notebook that looks just like that .. sometimes I have a hard time figuring out what I did when I go to write down a recipe because there are so many scribbles on it! I find it’s really helpful to have someone else read your recipes too .. my sister and I always point out things in each other’s recipes that seem obvious to one but not to the other… Like she might think ‘press tofu’ is clear because she does it all the time, but for someone like me who never cooks tofu, I don’t know what that means!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I almost didn’t post that picture with the notebook because I was so embarrassed by the sloppiness and scribbles. But hey, you have to write things down quickly when you’re in the midst of cooking something!

  2. says

    Our process is almost the same! I love that we draw inspiration from similar sources. You test your recipes way more than I do before posting, I should get into that habit but I sometimes can’t wait to share…

    The flavor bible…I’m intrigued. Might have to pick it up. I’ve definitely left out steps in recipes, I need a proof reader!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I used to never re-test my recipes, but then anytime someone would tell me they were making one of them, I’d get anxiety about how it would turn out for them. Now I pretty much know if something doesn’t turn out, it’s not my fault. ;)

  3. says

    Looks yummy, I’ll definitely have to try the flavor bible! Sorry for not getting back to you earlier on the eggplants, I got super busy (moving to a new house!). If you still have them, I’m up for receiving, just let me know how to get you my address. :D

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Good luck with the move! I know how chaotic that can be. I think we can manage the eggplant–I’m going to try making a big batch of tomato sauce with roasted eggplant in it to freeze!

  4. says

    You’re so organized! I’m usually a hot mess in the kitchen. That’s proly why I don’t ‘develop’ so many recipes myself. No pressure :) This crostini sounds heavenly!

  5. says

    I have several years of culinary experience, the way that you develop your recipes is exactly how I learned to develop recipes! I love how detailed your recipes are, each one makes me wish that I had a “scratch & sniff” screen!

  6. Tania says

    I love your blog! The recipes are such an inspiration ..I have my firt batch of overnight oatmeal ready to go!

    Thank you so much

  7. says

    wow, great focus and effort for each recipe. I usually go by instincts.. what i saw that say somewhere, whats in my csa basket, refrigerator, what taste pops in my head when i think of food. :)
    I love how you work in some form of steps.
    That crostini is gorgeous.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I love hearing how other bloggers develop their recipes! I really need to find a CSA to sign up for. I use the farmers market instead, but I think a CSA box might force me to try new things. :)

  8. says

    I saw the picture and swore you used an oak tree leaf on your crostini. Glad I read more and saw it was arugula.

    I need a flavor bible. I try and get creative and it usually ends up a mess.

  9. says

    Loved reading about your process! It’s very similar to mine. Isn’t it funny how changed around recipes get after you test them a couple times? Sometimes they’re completely different! Your crostini look delicious! They are just the kind of thing I want to eat when it’s so hot :)

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I did one this weekend that went from veggie packets on the grill to soup! :) I think that’s my favorite part of creating recipes–I love seeing how they change from where I start to where I finish.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Rushing is no good! I used to try to do 5-6 recipes on a Sunday because I didn’t have time during the week, and they would all end up being disasters…

  10. says

    This was a fun post to read! I’ve had fig crostini on my mind lately, but its more of a mental image of fresh figs with some kind of cheese and honey….so it’s interesting to read how your idea for a similar recipe transformed into something a bit different! Apricots are a fruit I never seem to pick up in the summer, but this looks amazing!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      I don’t buy apricots that often either–not so much because I don’t like them, but I just forget about them! But I found a beautiful little box of them at the store and I knew I had to use them for something. They were perfect! You’ll have to make that fig crostini–now I have a mental image of it too! :D

  11. says

    You are thorough! I like how you test each recipe several times. I read somewhere that bloggers are less reliable when it comes to recipe testing, as opposed to the usual professional authors of cookbooks. Apricot and ricotta sounds so good! So, when do you get to sleep! ;)

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