Improv Cooking Challenge: Balsamic Berry Crostini


Many, many years ago I found out that putting balsamic vinegar on berries brought out their sweetness. It was something I initially would have never believed or tried, but I'm so glad that I did. I love how the tart vinegar pairs with the sweet berries and while I don't use the combination often, I still enjoy it from time to time.

The theme for July's Improv Cooking Challenge is balsamic and berries, which really leaves a wide variety of recipes to make. I opted to keep it pretty simple this month and use all fresh ingredients in a dish that can be whipped up quickly. No baking, no fuss and very little mess. Perfect for if you need an appetizer for a last minute party or gathering.

Balsamic Berry Crostini
Source: Cookaholic wife Creation
Printer Friendly

    • 1 loaf french bread or other thin bread
    • ½ cup cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1 cup strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
    • 16-20 blueberries
    • ⅛ cup balsamic reduction*
    • optional: mint leaves

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Slice the french bread into rounds and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until just lightly toasted. 

3. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until combined. Spread onto the bread rounds.
4. Top with 1-2 strawberry slices, a blueberry and optional mint leaf.
5. Drizzle balsamic reduction on top. Serve immediately.

*To make a balsamic reduction: Combine 1 cup balsamic vinegar with 1/4 cup honey in a saucepan and bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced to 1/3 cup. * This recipe makes more than used above. Extra can be kept in the fridge for a few days. 

I was running out of daylight to photograph this recipe and ended up rushing my balsamic reduction which is why it doesn't look very pretty. It could have thickened up a lot more but I needed daylight, so I used it before it was really thick enough. Just remember to give yourself enough time! 

If you are a fan of goat cheese this could easily replace the cream cheese and sugar mixture that was spread onto the crostini.

This is the perfect combination of light, sweet, and tart. I could easily eat a plate of these all by myself!

Check out what the other Improv Cooking Challenge bloggers have made!


  1. Simple is often the best Nichole, especially when working with fresh ingredients.

  2. Simply beautiful, Nichole! And now I am craving one or two of those for my breakfast...


AdChoice Icon, to be placed in the footer:

Total Pageviews

Back to Top