Crostini – or “little toasts” – are one of the easiest ways to create a quick appetizer for guests or a fast lunch for yourself. I still had some fig jam left over from last year’s batch and used it for a sweet and savory crostino (singular of crostini) with prosciutto crudo, mozzarella cheese and a fresh green basil leaf. The inspiration for this one came from a wonderful blog called The Italian Dish.
But I got to thinking that this might also be good with prosciutto cotto (a very delicate and perfumed baked ham from Italy). If you can’t find prosciutto cotto, my supermarket also sells something called “French ham” which is nearly the same. Even though this may look like it, don’t use plain old baked ham. The flavor pales in comparison. Rather than the mozzarella, with this one I used goat cheese (ricotta would be another great choice for either of these) and some purple basil from the garden, along with a smidgeon of the fig jam.
But there’s no crostini rule that says you have to go Italian. This avocado and tomato crostini was really refreshing. Just smashed avocado mixed with a little garlic, salt, pepper, chopped jalapeno and cilantro.
The possibilities are endless beyond the ubiquitous rubbed garlic, tomatoes and basil. Just start with some sliced bread that’s been grilled or toasted with a little olive oil and use your imagination – zucchini, olives, pistachios – anything really. Inspiration can come from leftovers or something you just dreamed up. Either way, it makes for a fast and easy lunch or appetizer.
Here’s a little chart to give you some other ideas. Mix and match and come up with your own version.
A. Bottom Layer: B. Top Layer
mozzarella cheese grilled zucchini
goat cheese chopped sun dried tomatoes
smashed avocado mixture caramelized onions
melted fontina cheese leftover ratatouille or tapanade