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Nectarine and Pepita Pesto Toasts with Balsamic Reduction

Celebrate the everyday with this easy to prepare and sure to delight appetizer. 

Photo-79Quite possibly my favorite course, appetizers hold a special place in my heart. Perhaps it’s their petite nature that excites me for what main dish is to come. Perhaps it’s because appetizers are fun and are often served during celebrations, parties and when hosting friends and family. Whatever the reason, one thing is for certain—I love them and I don’t really need to wait for a special occasion to eat them! In fact, “appetizer night” frequents our weekly meal rotation rather often.

Photo-77Rich in antioxidants, fiber, zinc, protein and magnesium—pepitas (a.k.a. pumpkin seeds) provide immune boosting, sleep, mood and heart-health benefits. They also provide a nutritious and tasty base for pesto. I love playing around with various seeds and nuts when making pesto. I’ve made/tried many a pine nut or walnut pesto, but decided to stay true to the season and feature pumpkin seeds here. Blended with garden-grown, sweet basil, this pesto really wows!

Photo-84Perfectly toasted bread layered with juicy nectarines, drizzled with a sweet + tangy balsamic reduction and topped with fresh basil make this appetizer not only tasty, but also healthy. Believe it or not, this all comes together rather quickly! It works wonderfully as snack or party appetizer. In fact, this would also make for a lovely, light dinner. Pair the toasts with a glass of well chilled white wine and you’re set!



Nectarine and Pepita Pesto Toasts with Balsamic Reduction

  • Author: Homegrown Provisions
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free


Pepitas, sweet basil, juicy nectarines and tangy balsamic come together quickly over perfectly toasted bread for the ultimate, easy + elegant appetizer.



  • 2 nectarines, sliced and pits removed
  • 1 cup of pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 cup of fresh basil (packed) + chiffonade several basil leaves for topping.
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • several slices of bread (I used Canyon Bakehouse GF bread and used 4 slices)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar if you do not have coconut)



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. Cut bread slices diagonally
  3. Place slices on baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes until well toasted.


  1. Place pumpkin seeds, basil, salt, nutritional yeast and remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a food processor or blender. Grind until pesto is a smooth paste.

Balsamic Reduction

  1. Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a slight boil and reduce to about half. Stir consistently.
  3. This should take about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.


  1. Spread a generous amount of pesto on toasted bread slices. Top each toast with a nectarine slice. Drizzle balsamic reduction over toasts and add fresh basil.
  2. Enjoy!

October 13, 2014