How to: Healthy Appetizer – Crostini Two Ways

I’ve been witness to a lot of food stress this week.

IMG_5104

I get it, the holiday season is hard. There are just so many delicious and readily available  foods everywhere. 

IMG_5108

And sometimes foods are packaged in beautiful shiny paper with ribbons and sparkles so  you’re fooled into thinking it has to be something delicious.

IMG_5110

But then it isn’t.  Not even close.

Enter, food stress: the overwhelming feeling of regret at having consumed an item that just wasn’t worth it.

IMG_5133

Here, I hope to assist you in avoiding such a tragedy.

Here, I give you crostini.  Or ‘little toasts’.

IMG_5135

These work as simple appetizers that are easily customizable to your family’s or guests’ preferences.  They can also be as naughty or as nice (in the health department) as you want.

IMG_5126

These two options are on the healthy end.  They’re easy to make but also little more interesting than your basic bruschetta or simple cheese crostini.

IMG_5155

Also, they’re super gorgeous.  Even more gorgeous than any of that tricky bedazzled packaging.

IMG_5158

And of course, they are totally worth it.

Erin

Simple Crostini

Serves 12-20
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette (sliced in to ½" diagonal pieces)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Brush both sides of all slices with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2. Bake until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes, flipping the crostini halfway through.
3. Let cool and add your toppings of choice.

Sweet Pea and Mint Crostini

Serves 12
Prep time 10 minutes
Website Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups frozen sweet peas (thawed)
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves (about 8 large leaves)
  • 1 clove garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese (with extra for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Note

This recipe was originally used as a topping for seared salmon along with a bright lemony broth.  I've always loved it and thought it would make an excellent crostini topper.  Try topping the crostini with a piece of smoked salmon for a fancy pants add-on.

Directions

1. Using an immersion or counter top blender, blend all ingredients until well combined but not fully pureed, leaving some texture.
2. Top each crostini with approximately 2 Tbsp of pea puree. garnish with extra parmesan cheese.

Roasted Grape and Ricotta Crostini

Serves 12 crostini
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Website Adapted from Sweet Sugar Bean blog

Ingredients

  • 60 seedless red grapes
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive or canola oil
  • 5 or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme (plus extra for garnish)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea or kosher salt (divided)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided)
  • 3/4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Combine grapes, oil, thyme sprigs, ¼ tsp salt and ⅛ tsp pepper in a bowl. Transfer to lined baking sheet, bake for 18-20 minutes until grapes start to brown and wrinkle.
2. In a separate bowl combine ricotta, lemon zest and remaining salt and pepper.
Spread 1 Tbsp of ricotta on each crostini, top with 5 grapes each. Sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves.

One thought on “How to: Healthy Appetizer – Crostini Two Ways

  1. Pingback: Ricotta: An ode to the overlooked, as sung by Robyn (in my mind) | Cheese the Day

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.