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Crostinis - 3 Ways
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Crostinis #festfoods I’m working on my New Year’s Eve menu and what better way to welcome my guests than with delicious appetizers?!  Bruschetta is usually a crowd-pleaser, so I figured I’d make a variety of crostinis with unique toppings to really WOW my friends and family! You may be wondering, what is a crostini?  Well, it means “little toast” in Italian.  It is basically a crusty piece of bread, typically made from an Italian baguette or ciabatta bread.  {This could be a fun conversation piece at your party!} :) For the first recipe, I am going with the traditional bruschetta topping of tomatoes and garlic, but adding a pop of fresh basil.  I am a huge fan of artichokes, so for the second crostini, I am tossing them with freshly shaved parmesan and parsley for color.  And last, but not least, I am taking a sweet-twist and making a pear-ricotta topping with ground cinnamon!  Each crostini provides a punch of freshness and flavor.  Your guests will have trouble choosing their favorite! Crostinis To get started, we need to toast the bread, which will be the base of our crostinis.  Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Slice a French baguette in to ¼ inch slices.  Place on a baking sheet, spread apart, and drizzle each with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and pepper.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until crisp.  Set aside to cool. Crostinis To make the tomato-basil topping, slice cherry tomatoes in to quarters.  Place in a bowl and add minced garlic, olive oil, red wine or balsamic vinegar and fresh basil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Set aside. Crostinis Next up, artichokes {again, my fave}!  Remove artichokes from can; drain and pat dry.  Chop into bite sized pieces and place in a bowl.  {You can use marinated artichokes if you want an additional punch of flavor.}  Add olive oil, parmesan and chopped parsley and give it a good stir. Crostinis Go ahead and build your Tomato-Basil and Artichoke-Parmesan Crostinis!  Take a spoonful of topping and place it on the crostini; make 8 of each.  Garnish the Tomato-Basil with a few shreds of fresh basil, and the Artichoke-Parmesan with a sprinkle of chopped parsley. And lastly, we will build up the Ricotta-Pear variety!  Spread ricotta cheese on the remaining 8 crostinis; sprinkle with cinnamon.  Thinly slice a fresh pear, and place 3 slices on top of the ricotta and cinnamon.  Drizzle with honey {YUM}. Crostinis It’s as simple as that! Try one, or try them all!  They make the perfect appetizer for a New Year’s Eve get-together {with some bubbly}! Crostinis

Crostinis - 3 Ways

  Crostini

Ingredients:

24 slices French baguette (¼ in. thick)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

Dash salt and black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make crostini: Brush baguette slices on both sides with a total of 1 Tbsp. oil.  Season with salt and pepper.  Place on a baking sheet for 10-12 minutes.

 

Tomato-Basil Topping

Ingredients:

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp. red wine or balsamic vinegar

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Dash salt and black pepper

Directions:

  1. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes in to quarters. Mix with remaining oil, garlic, red wine vinegar and basil leaves.
  2. Dividing evenly, top each crostini with topping.

 

Artichoke-Parmesan Topping

Ingredients:

1 jar (6.5 oz.) artichoke hearts, drained and patted dry

2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

Directions:

  1. Meanwhile, chop artichokes and combine with parmesan, olive oil and parsley.
  2. Dividing evenly, top each crostini with topping and garnish with additional parmesan.

 

Pear-Ricotta Topping

Ingredients:

½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

2 pears, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp. honey

Directions:

  1. Spread ricotta evenly on each crostini. Sprinkle each with ground cinnamon, top with sliced pear and drizzle with honey.

Yield: 24 crostinis, 8 of each flavor

Julie Andrews is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with Festival Foods and is certified by the state of WI.

Crostinis

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