Simple and basic, this Crostini is the perfect beginning to many starters. Be careful not to over season as you don't want the Crostini to overwhelm the flavor of the topping.
Start with a good bread. I prefer a small (about 9" around) flute of San Francisco Sourdough, sliced 1/2 inch thick, though a nice day-old baguette or even a good quality sandwich bread will do just fine. If using full sized slices of bread, trim down to 2-bite pieces (about 3" X 2" - 2 1/2"). Brush slices with a small amount of EVOO and pop under the broiler until the bread just starts to turn golden. Do not toast - just 'dry-out' the top so that when topped, the Crostini doesn't become soggy.
Top the crostini with your favorite pesto, tapenade, or hearty spread, sprinkle with grated Italian cheese, and chopped fresh herbs for a fast gourmet snack.
1 container (7
ounces) Basil Pesto
Preheat broiler. Spread pesto over bread; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Top with tomato slices. Place on baking sheet. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes or until bread is crisp and cheese is melted. Cut into pieces.
Serve these scaled down sandwiches as appetizers or with several cold side dishes for lunch. Classic olive spread (tapenade), and Italian meats and cheeses piled on a crusty Italian roll - now how good is that?
Makes about 24 appetizers1 jar Tuscan olive tapenade
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large (6 - 8"), crusty sandwich rolls or a baguette, split
1/2 pound sliced Genoa salami
1/2 pound sliced Cappicola ham
1/2 pound sliced provolone
24 pitted olives
In a small bowl, combine the olive tapenade with the oregano, parsley, and garlic. Mix well. Spread 1/4 of the olive spread on the bottom half of each roll. Top the olive salad with the salami, ham, and provolone.
To serve, slice each sandwich into 6 – 8 slices, add a pitted olive and skewer with a tooth pick.
When cutting the bread halves into pieces, cut into diagonal slices.
I prefer a thicker layer of Tuscan Olive Spread so I use 1 1/2 jars when making the full recipe. The leftover tapenade can be used in salad dressings, pastas, or on crackers.
For a heated Muffuletta, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the sandwiches on a baking sheet. Make a foil 'tent' to cover, by sticking a wooden tooth pick in each sandwich, then placing the foil over the top, tucking the foil under the sides of the baking sheet to secure. The idea is to keep the foil from touching the cheese. Heat in the oven for 15 minutes or until the cheese melts. Slice as above and serve hot.
Links to Products used in this Recipe: Tuscan Olive Spread
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