Appetizer Crostini

Thursday November 3, 2016

crostini with a variety of toppings

What are crostini?  Literally translated to “little crusts,” they are Italian-style appetizer croutons.  Usually slices of bread are toasted slowly until golden and then spread with a variety of tasty savory toppings, they are a clever way to use up day-old bread and stave off hunger while waiting for dinner.

A relative of the French pain grille, these small rounds of toast tend to be smaller and less filling than the heartier bruschette, grilled bread rubbed with garlic and drizzled with oil.  These toasts are traditionally grilled over an open fire, but they adapt easily to an outdoor grill, oven, or broiler.

you can just about smell and taste this luscious baguette

Cut small rounds of bread from day-old baguettes or heavy country breads, or cut triangles from chewy whole-grain slices.  When baked in the oven, use an ungreased baking sheet or line it with foil or parchment for easier cleaning.

Crostini may be made ahead in large quantities for cocktail parties, where they can serve as rustic canapes or as part of an antipasto platter.  Store the toasts in an airtight container and spread with the topping just before serving.

The Cheddar and Olive came from my friend the late Gertrude Pollock, hostess extraordinaire, who always wanted me to make her recipes when I catered for her. I thought this mixture outdated until I tasted it. It was delicious. I have made it many times as the only accompaniment to champagne before dinner. And couldn’t make them fast enough.

The Mozzarella and Artichoke I had for afternoon snack at a friend’s house, made on a long cut loaf of french bread and chopped into sections. We went nuts eating this and every time I serve it there is rarely a piece left. Strips of sun-dried tomatoes or roasted peppers may be substituted for the artichokes.  For large gatherings, cut the baguette in half lengthwise and spread the entire surface; cut into hunks to serve.

Both of these recipes are winners and the toppings can be made and kept refrigerated in covered containers until time to assemble and serve. Easy never had it so good for entertaining.

Cheddar and Olive Crostini

Makes 16 to 20 crostini

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups (6 ounces) grated sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup canned black olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onion
  • 3/4 cup good mayonnaise or Veganaise soy mayonnaise substitute
  • 2 teaspoons good curry powder
  • One French baguette, cut into 16 to 20 thin slices

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400º.  In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, olives, green onion, mayonnaise, and curry until evenly blended.  Refrigerate until needed.  Mound atop the bread slices and place on a baking sheet.

Bake until puffed and melted, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

Crostini with Artichokes and Mozzarella

Makes 16 crostini

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, pressed
  • One French baguette, cut into 16 to 20 thin slices
  • Two 4-ounce jars marinated artichoke hearts, drained and  chopped
  • 1-pound mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 375º.  Cream the butter and garlic until smooth.  Spread thinly on one side of each slice of bread and place on a baking sheet.  On each slice, place 1 tablespoon chopped artichokes.  Cover with 1 slice of mozzarella.

Bake until the cheese is melted and the edges are brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2016

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


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