Feast of Saints Peter and Paul

With two of the foundational figures of Christianity celebrated at the same time, this feast is a major day of the year. The feast is so huge in antiquity that it was often celebrated for eight days (an octave) beginning with a fast, the Fast of the Apostles, on the second Monday after Pentecost. There is some evidence that it may have originally celebrated all the Apostles. However, in most of the church today the day centers on only St. Peter and St. Paul.  

St. Peter was the lead apostle and the first leader of the church. St. Paul was the Apostle to the Gentiles, which is most of the world. Together they represent the first leaders of the early church. Tradition tells us that they both were martyred in Rome. June 29 most likely represents a day in which both sets of relics were “translated” to what became the Vatican.  The presence of their relics has been a part of the claim of Roman supremacy. Ironically today, the feast is more lavishly celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox branch of the church.

To celebrate this feast day we are making a simple appetizer including many ingredients which are common to the Holy Land. This Crostini topped with Goat Cheese, Figs, Pistachio, and Honey is a delicious afternoon snack to eat while remembering Saint Peter and Saint Paul.

Pictured above: Icon of St. Peter and St. Paul


 Crostini with Goat Cheese, Figs, Pistachio, and Honey

Ingredients

1 baguette, sliced into ¼-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
4 oz. goat cheese, at room temperature
8 oz. figs, stems removed and quartered or halved
¼ cup pistachios, unshelled and toasted
sea salt
ground black pepper
honey (for drizzling)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place sliced baguette pieces on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Using a small spatula or cheese knife, spread about 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on each crostini, covering most of the bread.
  4. Add figs on top of the goat cheese.
  5. Sprinkle with toasted pistachios and season with a little sea salt and black pepper on each crostini. Finally drizzle with honey and serve immediately.