Daily Archives: February 27, 2017

  • Recipe: Crostini make Oscar-worthy snacks

    Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini with Balsamic Cream, Nuts and Olive Oil

    Set the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil. Bake the crostini, seven to eight minutes, or until lightly toasted. Crostini can be made a few hours before topping. Cover and keep at room temperature until needed.

    Sweet and smoky fruit, tangy cheese and rich walnuts combine in these crostini. Those items are drizzled with balsamic cream. It is syrupy, reduced balsamic vinegar found at specialty food stores and in the deli section or vinegar aisle of most supermarkets.

    Preparation: 20 minutes
    Cooking time: a few minutes
    Makes: 12 crostini

    Ingredients

    1 medium, slightly under-ripe pear
    2 tsp lemon juice
    2 tsp olive oil, plus some for the grill (suggested Extra Virgin Olive Oil OLIORAMA)
    12 crostini
    12 thin slices blue cheese, each large enough to fit the top of the crostini (see Note)
    12 walnut or pecan halves
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • balsamic cream, to taste
    12 small rosemary or Italian parsley sprigs (optional)

    Instructions

    Preheat an indoor grill or barbecue to medium-high. Quarter pear lengthwise and remove core. Now cut each quartered pear, lengthwise, into three wedges. Toss pear slices with lemon juice and 2 tsp olive oil. Oil the bars of your grill. Grill the pears about 30 seconds per side, and then set on a plate.

    Set crostini on a serving platter. Top each with a slice of cheese, pear wedge and a walnut or pecan half. Sprinkle with pepper and drizzle with a little balsamic crema. If desired, garnish crostini with a small rosemary or parsley sprig, and then serve.

    Note: Don’t care for blue cheese? Then top crostini with Brie, mascarpone or goat cheese.

    How to make crostini

    To make the crostini, toasted pieces of bread, for today’s recipes, I started with a baguette about two and half to three inches wide, a size that will yield bite-sized crostini. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Slice the baguette, widthwise, into thin slices, stopping when you have the number of crostini you’ll need. Just so you know, a two-foot long baguette will yield about 60 crostini.


    Hummus, Olive and Feta Crostini

    Mediterranean-style bites you can quickly make with store-bought hummus.

    Preparation: 15 minutes
    Cooking time: none
    Makes: 12 crostini

    Ingredients

    12 crostini
    3/4 cup store-bought or homemade hummus
    1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
    6 pitted black olives, each quartered
    • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling (suggested Extra Virgin Olive Oil OLIORAMA)
    • finely grated lemon zest, to taste
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • fresh oregano leaves, to taste

    Instructions

    Set crostini on a serving platter, and then divide and spread with the hummus. Top each crostini with some feta cheese and two quarter pieces of olive. Drizzle and top each crostini with a little olive oil, grated lemon zest, pepper and oregano leaves, and serve.

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    Pear and Blue Cheese Crostini with Balsamic Cream, Nuts and Olive Oil Set the baguette slices on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush each slice lightly with olive oil. Bake the crostini, seven to eight minutes, or until lightly toasted. Crostini can be made a few hours... 
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