Lardo and Walnut Pesto Crostini

Philip Rubino

Moderno - Highland Park, IL

Chef Rubino prefers the rich, distinctive flavor of black walnuts in this recipe. If you can’t find them, use conventional supermarket walnuts, which are milder.


  • Five 3/4-inch-thick baguette slices  
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for brushing the bread and serving
  • 1 whole clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup toasted walnuts, chopped into pea-sized pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 5 slices lardo
  • Sea salt for garnish


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Toast in the oven until just golden brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and let cool. When cool enough to handle, rub the slices with the whole garlic clove and set aside. Keep the oven at 375ºF.

Place the walnuts, Parmigiano Reggiano, parsley, chives, sage, and chopped garlic in a bowl and mix to combine. Stir in the 1/2 cup olive oil and the salt and pepper.

Place a slice of lardo on each piece of bread. Place the bread slices on a baking sheet. Bake until the lardo just begins to soften and melt, about 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the crostini to a serving platter and immediately spread a small spoonful of the walnut pesto on top of each slice. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a touch of sea salt.


5 servings