Crostini

By Christina Collins

Bites of Delight

Cros·ti·ni: Noun. A fancy name for small slices of toast with toppings. (FYI, that’s my definition. Not Merriam-Webster’s!)

The toppings can be super simple such as tomato bruschetta, or can be as creative as you can imagine. They are the perfect appetizer for any amount of guests, an afternoon snack, and a great way to deliver bites of deliciousness.

It is frequent, if not reliable, that if I am hosting one friend or a full scale party, there will be Crostini! In fact, I call it the “Crostini Du Jour!” It’s a reliable, easy way to please a crowd and I serve them constantly!

If you scour the internet for crostini recipes, you will find endless amounts of creations, but forget the recipes. The recipes out there are all great but you don’t need them. They can inspire you, of course, but look to your pantry, leftovers and favorite flavor combinations for inspiration too. The possibilities are endless.

Crostini are one of my favorite weekend snacks. I love sipping a glass of wine on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with a nibble of crostini and some olives!

Feaster’s Tips:

  • Traditional recipes call for brushing the toasts with olive oil before baking. I found this not only to be time consuming, but it was inconsistent. Where the brush landed often was soaked with too much olive oil while other spots were too dry. It also makes an oily mess. So I thought, “Why not use olive oil spray?” I tried it once and never looked back. It provided a consistent application across the bread and takes seconds to do! Note- I did not say Pam spray or canola oil spray, it must be Extra Virgin Olive Oil spray.
  • If your topping can handle some garlic flavor, take a peeled clove of garlic and rub it on the toasted bread slices before serving. This is a top from Ina Garten. You won’t believe the level of flavor it adds. (Do this sparingly it adds more flavor than you think!)
  • Many people, including Mrs. Ina Garten, say you can make the toast points at least one day in advance and store in an air proof container. However, I like to make them just a few hours before serving whenever possible. Fresher is always better and since they are so easy, I don’t mind making them the day I plan to use them.

The Basic Recipe for Bruschetta Toast Points

crostini with goat cheese and jam

Crostini Toasts Points

Perfectly crisp toast points to top with any flavor combinations
Course Appetizer
Cuisine International, Italian

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Baguette
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Spray
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Group pepper
  • Parchment paper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat Oven to 425 degreees F. Line a sheet rtay with parchment paper.
  • Slice Baguette at a slight angle, about 1/3- 1/5 inch thick. (I prefer thinner, but they need to be thick enough to hold toppings. Need to use some judgement.)
  • Lay the bread slices in a single layer on the parchment lined sheet tray.
  • Spray the toasts with the EVOO. Spray enough to coat them so they have some oil to absorb and crisp up, but don't saturate them or they will burn before crisping or risk getting soggy.
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Flip and repeat- EVOO, salt, pepper.
  • Bake for 6-8 minutes. Check for doneness. Flip if desired. Bake in 1 one minute increments until lightly toasted and crisp. Set aside to cool. (They should continue to crisp)

Notes

A great way to add another layer of flavor is to rub a peeled garlic clove on on side of the baked toast. It really changes the flavor and is perfect for some toppings that pair well with garlic such as tomatoes, olives and some meats.  
Keyword bruschetta, crostini, finger food, starter

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