As mentioned yesterday we had some friends over for drinks and snacks on Sunday and served a variety of small open-faced sandwiches on toasted slices of baguette, known as Crostini.
The word means 'little toast' in Italian and an interesting fact I learned about this dish is that they are thought to have originated back in the medieval times, when it was easier for people to eat their meals off pieces of bread rather than having to use a plate.
I don't want to give the impression that I was being lazy in choosing to make particularly easy and quick toppings for our toasts, but my motto is why not go easy when the results turn out to be very tasty. Going the easy route allowed me to offer a variety while not spending a ton of time in the kitchen preparing things.
Also worth noting is that all of these require the use of only a regular knife, as opposed to many Crostini topping recipes that require a food processor.
Everything was prepared within an hour the morning of the visit and then just put together quickly before our guests arrived.
The toppings were all vegetarian, with one vegan choice and the recipe cards are at the end of the post. Here's what we had:
(1) A mixture of Feta, Goat's Milk cheese and fresh Lemon Juice, topped by Sauteed Mushrooms and Onion, seasoned with Balsamic Vinegar, garlic, thyme and a generous grinding of black pepper.
(2) A spread of Green Peas, Shallot and Cream Cheese, topped with thin slices of radish.
↑↑ I managed to keep my mint plant growing over the winter. It's not the fullest of plants but provided enough mint for the occasional recipe or Mojito. ↑↑
(3) A chutney of chopped Avocado, Roasted Red Pepper, Hot Pepper and fresh Lime Juice
To make the toasts : Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice a baguette into thin slices that are 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Brush one side with olive oil. Place in single layer on cookie sheets (you'll need two for one regular sized baguette). Toast until lightly brown, around 6 minutes. Cool completely, and cover tightly until ready to serve. They keep nicely for about a day, but are better if less than 12 hours old. Use leftovers broken up as croutons in a salad. One regular baguette will yield about 40 slices.
Thanks very much for taking a look and possibly trying out my recipes! If it helps motivate you, not a bit of the food we put out was left on the serving plates by the end of the evening.
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