Honestly, I’m a little flustered every single time I have a party. And I love to host! But between working from home and wrangling two kids it just gets hard. That’s why I need the perfect party appetizer to fit where I am right now – a blank canvas for creating multiple apps from one base recipe. Let me show you how to make crostini!
Start with Quality Bread
It all starts with a french baguette. Long, lean, crunchy crust, soft on the inside – a fresh baked french baguette is worthy of my money. And it ain’t much money, thank God! I have found good quality french baguettes on sale as low as 99 cents a loaf.
Handy Tip: If I’m buying from a bakery or grocery store I ask for it to be sliced. They have bread slicing machines readily available and you can request slicing for any type of loaf. You can also cut your baguette at home, no problem. But with the machine you can have it done quickly and all the slices are uniform in thickness.
Bake the Crostini (recipe)
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Cut up a french baguette (if it’s not sliced already) into ⅓ to ½ inch thick slices. Lay them out on a rimmed baking pan and brush lightly with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 3-5 minutes until just golden. Remove them from the oven and let cool. Store in any type of container for 24 hours – the fresher the crispier so don’t let it sit for days!
Pick Your Toppings
There’s generally 3 layers to a delicious crostino (singular form of “crostini”). You have the spread (base layer), the feature, and the zest. You can venture outside of that formula all you want – the combinations are endless! But this is an easy way to plan out what ingredients you’ll be needing for a variety of toppings. Don’t forget that buying these pre-made will save you time.
Lather on a Spread
The spread would be anything to moisten the toasted crostini top. Nobody wants to bite into a dry and crumbly mess. Spread on a little herbed cream cheese or homemade pesto to take care of that!
Spreads I love:
- Ricotta cheese
- Cocktail sauce
- Olive tapenade
- Cream cheese
- Goat cheese
Choose a Feature
The feature is what lies on top of the spread. For example, a grilled shrimp on top of a spread of guacamole or marinated mushrooms on whipped ricotta. It’s what people see first and want more of.
Features I love:
- Caramelized onions
- Smoked salmon
- Sliced steak
- Grilled peaches
- Roasted tomatoes
- Sliced pears
Top it Off!
The zest is what “finishes” the crostini. Maybe it’s a drizzle like balsamic or perhaps a pinch of parsley. It’s an extra layer of goodness that adds flavor, color, or even texture. Sweet or savory, give it some flair.
Zest I love:
- Balsamic reduction
- Pomegranate seeds
- Chopped nuts
- Olive Oil
Check out my caramelized onion and brie crostini recipe for your next party. And get ready for an entire step by step ebook teaching you busy mamas how to create your own crostini bar! Click Here to get updates on this new project due this fall!
All these delicious combinations look fancy, taste amazing, and can please a picky crowd. Since most toppings can be bought pre-made you’ll love the time-saving aspect of creating these easy appetizers. Might as well pin this bad boy now…
- 1 french baguette
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
- Cut up a french baguette (if it’s not sliced already) into ⅓ to ½ inch thick slices. Lay them out on a rimmed baking pan and brush lightly with olive oil.
- Bake in the oven for 3-5 minutes until just golden. Remove them from the oven and let cool. Store in any type of container for 24 hours - the fresher the crispier so don’t let it sit for days!