Tapas Time!! Tomato Crostini, and Spicy Garlic Shrimp

I'm daydreaming, writing this article in my head at work, about my plans to make my "Great Escape" to the Caribbean, to the amazing new private community in the Virgin Islands, called Oil Nut Bay. For me it is a practical reality……..if I play my cards right.

That personal goal of the ultimate outdoor kitchen, is not a material pursuit, but moreso an expression of a new way of life….holistic living, organic orchard, healthy eating, in tune with nature…and all the rest.

And as I contemplate it all in this boring business meeting at work, a couple of new Tapas appetizer recipes came to my head. Tomato Crostini, and Spicy Garlic Shrimp…….

Tomato Crostini

Makes approximately 14

Sourdough baguette – 14 slices (since I eat so little bread, I don't worry too hard about ingredients, I just try to avoid bread made with Canola oil, I'm working on my own bread recipes in the mean time)

1 C. grass fed Ricotta or Feta cheese (I TOTALLY AVOID COMMERCIAL CHEESE)
3 T. Organic Chives, diced small
3 T. Organic Basil, chiffonade
3 T. Organic Virgin Olive oil
2 ORganic Garlic cloves, minced
Pink Himalayan Salt or Alternately Celtic Sea Sea Salt (AVOID COMMON TABL ESALT)
Organic Coarse Ground Black Pepper
1 C. Small organic heirloom tomatoes cut in half
½ C. Organic Balsamic vinegar


Brush each slice of baguette with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake or broil until golden brown. Let cool.

In a bowl add the ricotta, chives, basil, olive oil and garlic and mix well. Season with salt and pepper and taste for additional seasonings.

In a small sauté pan add the balsamic vinegar and heat over medium high heat. Be sure to watch carefully. You will want it to resemble a syrup consistency. Let cool. If it becomes too stiff, add a bit more balsamic vinegar to loosen it up.

To assemble, add about one tablespoon of the ricotta mixture to the top of the toasted baguette slices. Top with about 5 to 6 of the tomato halves. Drizzle with a bit of the balsamic and adorn with basil leaves or chiffonade basil. Sprinkle with a bit of Pink Himalayan Salt and serve.


Spicy Garlic Shrimp

1 pound Louisiana Shrimp, deveined, tails left on
Optional pinch of favorite seafood spices to taste (original recipe called for 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash, but I don't like store bought spices because of bad ingredients)

4 organic garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon organic red pepper flakes
Juice of 1 organic lemon
1 stick cold Grass Fed Butter (AVOID CONVENTIONAL BUTTER AT ALL COSTS!!!)
Substitute Butter w/ Organic Avocados if desired


In a food processor, add the butter, seasoning, garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. Pulse until fully combined.

Place the shrimp on your cooking surface in a single layer. I like a Cast Iron skillet with a lid (the original recipe suggested foil, which I avoid) .

Place pinches of the butter mixture over the shrimp. Fold the foil and make a pocket, making sure it is completely sealed.

The packet should surround the shrimp closely, but not be tight. Place on the grill and cook until the shrimp turn bright pink and curl.

Allow to steam to soak up all the flavors.

To Serve: Transfer the shrimp to a plate and pour the sauce directly on top. You can also serve some of the sauce in a small dish for dipping.

Of course, I have more lofty and noble goals in life than to cook tapas in an outdoor tropical kitchen, but I think we all need to have one ambition that only means something to one's self.

When I bite into those tapas, hopefully with some "hottie", under the tiki torches, feeling the Caribbean breeze….for sure I will know that all my goals are possible.

~stay healthy~


click here or the photo below to see all my articles in "The Healthy Chef's Corner"

2 Responses


Your tomato crostini look especially enticing with the multi-colored tomatoes and fresh herbs! In Spanish cuisine, we’d call these beauties “montaditos,” which basically refers to putting almost anything on top of toast.


Hi Bay Area Spanig Catering,

I’ll be sure to tell the next lovely lady I’m making dinner for and preparing this appetizer that in Spain, they call them “montaditos”, to pretend I really know what I’m doing LOL!!!

Thanks for reading and Commenting

Doug at GAIA Health Blog

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