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Crostini Time

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

 

This Post Has 30 Comments
  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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!

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