Crostini is one of my favorite types of appetizers. First of all it’s main component it is bread – I love bread! There are a few reasons, though, that it has worked its way to my favorites list. The first is ease: you slice a baguette, rub it with olive oil, toast the slices in the oven and top them. They can be made almost instantly or made ahead of time and assembled just before serving. The second, versatility: the toppings can be so simple or you can get really creative, it’s so easy to create a bunch of different appetizers with a few baguettes. The third, presentation: assembled and lined up these little toasts can look great laid out for appetizers. They can be garnished or have toppings attractively piped on. Lastly, taste. Meats, cheeses, veggies on toasted olive oiled bread need I say more? Here’s a few recipes to get you started.
- baguette, sliced into 1/4″ thick slices
- olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet in a single layer.
- Brush each slice with olive oil and if you’d like sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until slightly toasted.
- Remove from the oven, let cool and top as desired.
Note: I often use flavored olive oil to compliment my topping. For example, Tuscan Herb Olive Oil for the Caprese Crostini.
Prosciutto & Basil
Top with a slice of prosciutto, a basil leaf and drizzle with a little olive oil and a sprinkle of black pepper.
Gently mix together a chopped avocado, sea salt, a little olive oil, chopped cilantro and a big squeeze of lemon juice. Top crostini with Avocado mixture.
Slice a ball of mozzarella. Place a slice of mozzarella, a basil leaf and a half a cherry tomato on a crostini. Sprinkle with black pepper and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
Top a crostini with a slice of smoked salmon, using a frosting tip, pipe on a star of creme fraiche (or dollop it on top) and garnish with chopped chives.
Spread crostini with a little blue cheese and top with rare roast beef.
For more recipes and entertaining tips from Zareen, visit her blog Cooking with Z.