Saturday, May 22, 2010

Crostini Time

May 2010 337 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.

May 2010 338

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.

lunch 4 Or how about this one, which is more like a French tartine: some goat cheese and sliced radishes, straight from my friend Dorothy’s garden:

lunch 5 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

                                                                                

 

 

 

30 comments:

NYC, Style and a little Cannoli said...

Crostini is excellent! These all look amazing!! nice post!

Stacey Snacks said...

The possibilities for crostini are endless....I try a new one weekly!
I love the Italian Dish blog....and your photos are beautiful! They are begging for a crostini party.

Daniela said...

Questi crostini sono fantastic, li provero' tutti. Buona domenica Daniela.

bellini valli said...

Whaa tasty start to any meal!!

Linda said...

Yummmmmmmmm..delightful with a cocktail....I would love one right now as a matter of fact!

doggybloggy said...

I love it! they should be numbered - "I'll take a mumber two A with a number six B..."

Jen_from_NJ said...

I love crostini and your flavor combinations are fantastic! I am not sure which to try first! The avocado and tomato crostini is such a unique idea - perfect!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I like them all, what time is the party starting? I agree with you about Elaine's blog, always an inspiring post going on at The Italian Dish, did you know shes a painter/ artist also? Very talented!

tasteofbeirut said...

Your crostinis are mouthwatering; I used to be able to find the French ham called Jambon de Paris, that I loved and then a few years ago , the market quit carrying it!
But I will look for that prosciutto; sounds yummy.. All the other combos sounds great too.

In Sweet Treatment said...

So many great combos...I can't wait to start mixing and matching. Yum!

Peabody said...

Those look almost to pretty to eat...almost.

Peter M said...

How timely, I'm making an open-faced sandwich today with some of these elements. I like the one with avocado best.

LynnieBNC said...

I love a crostino!!! With almost ANYTHING on it!! I especially find the radish one appealing. Love your posts and your gorgeous photos! Thanks.

Cathy said...

Yum, goat cheese and fig jam on a toasted slice are my favorite. I could enjoy this any time of day. The tomato and avocade looks very tasty too.

Claudia said...

Crostinis must be having an epidemic. I dined on goat cheese and fig jam yesterday - as well as smashed avocado with fromage blanc and a host of others. I love the idea of the prosciutto with the fig jam - all that salty-sweet melding together on one toast. Forget breakfast - I'll take some crostinis with your topping, please.

daniela said...

che voglia di addentarli Linda! Sono bellissimi e appetitosi! Un Bacino
Dani

Debby of Oxycontin and Opiate Addiction: A Mother's Story said...

These are terrific for my Friday night Happy Hour's with the hubs. Fig jam... I forgot I've got about six jars of homemade jam! I should get busy using it up, so thanks for reminding me. I have lots of avocados, so I know what I'm making next. Crostini + cold Italian Moretti beer = Happy Foodiewife!

Tania said...

Quanti crostini, c'รจ l'imbarazzo della scelta!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

They would each make a wonderful appetizer, and one of each would make a delicious meal. I also love crostini with a chicken liver pate like the Florentines serve it.

Lori Lynn said...

Love the colors and combinations of flavors. If I were at your party, I think I'd try the radish and goat cheese first, but I'd definitely sample them all!
LL

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Fabulous! I'll eat one of each, please!

Cheers,

Rosa

Bridgett said...

The possibilities are endless and I love the avocado crostini as I never tire of avocados. Your photos are incredible.

Betty said...

oh wow they all look GREAT!

elra said...

They not just delicious looking, but also very versatile.

Barbara GF said...

Pretty much anytime is crostini time, Linda! Your photos and topping suggestions are dazzling.

Divina said...

I can live on crostini and crostoni!
great post.

natural selection said...

Linda aren't these perfect for the summer! love crostini fantastic on a hot summer day some chilled Prosecco perhaps?

Phyllis said...

Thanks for all the great crostini ideas, Linda! I'm going to have to keep an eye out for the French ham. And that purple basil is gorgeous!

joe@italyville said...

I love them all Linda... yours look amazing!

I Sicilian said...

Love avocado, love bread and love tomatoes.It looks like a formula that I'm going to love to eat.