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Murielle Banackissa

Roasted Cherry and Shallot Crostini

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25 mins Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins
Serves 4

These bites are a wonderful snack to entertain in the summer season. They feature grilled baguette slices, topped with creamy vegan cream cheese, and garnished with juicy roasted dark cherries and basil.


  • Grill cast iron pan


  • 1 cup pitted and halved dark sweet cherries
  • 1 small shallot , cut in half lengthwise then sliced
  • 1 heaping tbsp fresh basil , chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil , plus more for brushing the baguette
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Pinch of black pepper , plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 baguette , cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • Spreadable vegan cheese (any cream cheese or mild flavored cashew cheese would be great here)


  1. Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

  2. Step 2

    Add the cherries, sliced shallot, basil, olive oil, salt, and pepper to a cast iron pan. Alternatively you can use a baking sheet. Toss to coat.

  3. Step 3

    Bake for 15 minutes, tossing halfway through the baking time.

  4. Step 4

    While the cherries are roasting, heat a grill cast iron pan on medium-low heat.

  5. Step 5

    Brush both sides of each baguette slice with olive oil then set in the cast iron pan.

  6. Step 6

    Grill until char marks appear then flip and repeat.

  7. Step 7

    Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

  8. Step 8

    Spread some vegan cheese onto each crostini. Garnish with two cherry halves and a slice or two of roasted shallot. Top with extra basil and a crack of black pepper. Enjoy!

Common Questions & Swaps

  • Feel free to replace the shallot with a small yellow onion. 
  • Fresh basil is essential for this recipe. I would not use the dry kind. 
  • If you don't have a grill cast iron pan, you can grill your pan in a regular cast iron or in a nonstick pan. 
  • Use gluten free baguette if preferred.
Grilled baguette topped with vegan cheese, roasted cherries, basil, and pepper
Cherries floating in water
Roasted Cherry and Red Onion Crostini

Every summer, when cherry season comes around, I am so happy! Cherries have always had a very special place in my heart.

Growing up, when my mom and brothers would visit my grandparents in Ukraine during the summer months, I often had the great pleasure to walk alongside my grandpa in his huge garden, picking cherries from the trees.

I remember them being so juicy and sweet and loved how their dark juices dyed my fingers a purple-ish colour.

To this day, every summer, I enjoy a few bags of dark juicy cherries to honour this special memory.

A few weeks ago, I was so happy when I found some organic dark cherries at a local grocery store for $1.99 per pound! With the prices of produce rising, this type of discount is extremely rare so I bought Sam and I two huge bags.

We have been slowly eating our way through both of these bags mostly by layering cherry halves in mason jars along with chia pudding (which I have fallen back in love with!).

Interestingly, I have for a long time associated cherries with desserts or sweet breakfasts. Before this recipe, I had never used them in savoury dishes. When this realization crossed my mind, I figured, why not give it a try?

I thought of making something quite simple to put together that both celebrated the sweetness of summer cherries and paired them with more savoury ingredients: vegan cheese, onion, and basil.

Cherries being pitted and cut
Crostini on a plate topped with vegan cheese, roasted cherries and fresh basil

When it comes to the ingredients used in this recipe, below are the ones I used.

For any modifications, refer to the Common Questions & Swaps section.

Dark sweet cherries: The real stars of these little bites. Thanks to their juiciness, you can bake them for a few minutes in the oven without drying them out. Their sweetness creates a beautiful contrast with the savoury ingredients.

Shallot: I love its subtle sweetness when it is cooked and the delicate aroma of garlic it adds to these bites.

Fresh basil: Bright, sweet, and very aromatic, basil pairs beautifully with the flavour of cherries.

Extra virgin olive oil: Not only do I love the flavour that olive oil gives these bites, it also brings a nice richness.

Salt & Pepper: Both of these seasonings are added to round up all the other flavours.

Grilled baguette: They are the bed on which the vegan cheese and cherries sit. Grilling baguette gives it a slightly smoky flavour and a crunchy texture which is a nice contrast to the softness of the cheese and cherries.

Spreadable vegan cheese: Creamy, often slightly tangy, it brings out the sweetness of the cherries, while adding a little luxury to these bites. I love to use plant based cheese from VegNature, Violife or Fauxmagerie Zengarry.

It is always so nice to create recipes with ingredients that hold special memories. Every time I eat cherries or cook with them, I always think back with fondness about my childhood days strolling alongside my grandpa in his garden.

If you have any special memories associated with cherries, I encourage you to bring them forth as you make this recipe and hold them in your heart as you savour these bites.

I hope that if you try making this recipe you will leave a review above in the recipe box and share about it on social media. Don’t forget to tag me (@muriellebanackissa).

Happy cooking ✦

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