10 Twists On The Crostini

photo 1 (1050x700)

Put your hostess-with-the-mostess title to the test with a farmers market inspired tray using a colorful mix of healthy ingredients, dips, and cheeses. These no fuss appetizers will save you time in the kitchen because any of them can be prepared hours in advance. You’ll actually be able to spend time with your guests instead of simply waiting on them; a trap that many hostesses fall victim to. Most importantly, not only are these crostini visually appealing, but they are rich in flavor and provide delectable options for all of your guests to enjoy.

Here ten unique ways to build upon classic, sliced bread:

Market List

Goat Cheese
Savour This Sauce Pesto (or, your favorite pesto)
Savour This Sauce Romesco (or, your favorite Romesco or red pepper spread)
2 Fennel Bulbs
1 Bunch of Carrots
3 Beets
2 Cups Grape Tomatoes: Orange and Red
1 Bunch of Asparagus
1 Avocado
6 Strawberries
1 Baguette

On making the crostini:
Cut baguette into ½ inch slices to form the crostini. Coat sauté pan with olive oil, lay the crostini in pan and allow them to become golden.

Carrot, Beet & Fennel Pickles

Pickling Mixture
1 Cup Water
¼ Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar

Pickling Vegetables
½ Beet, Peeled and Cut into Small Matchsticks
1 Carrot, Peeled and Cut into Small Matchsticks
½ Fennel Bulb, Thinly Sliced

Mix all ingredients together until salt and sugar dissolve. Divide mixture into two containers.  Place beets into one container and carrots and fennel into the other. Let sit for at least an hour.

photo 4 (1050x700)

Roasted + Raw Vegetables With Balsamic Reduction

Balsamic Reduction
1 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
¼ Cup Sugar

Place ingredients into a sauté pan. Reduce on medium heat until it becomes syrupy (approximately 10 minutes).

Roasted Vegetables
4 Asparagus Stalks
6 Carrots, Sliced on the Bias
½ Bulb of Fennel, Thinly Sliced
1 ½ Cups of Grape Tomatoes
1 Beet (Leave Skin on for Roasting)
¼ Cup Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
Salt & Pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil. Toss vegetables on baking sheet with ¼ cup olive oil, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Cook asparagus, carrots and fennel until somewhat browned and fork tender (approximately 10 minutes for asparagus, 15 minutes for carrots and 20 minutes for fennel). Cook grape tomatoes until slightly browned but not bursting (approximately 20-25 minutes). Cook beet until completely browned and fork tender (approximately 30-35 minutes). Let beet cool and then peel outer skin.

Raw Vegetables
1 Carrot, Thinly Sliced
½ Cup Grape Tomatoes, Halved
1 Avocado, Thinly Sliced
½ Beet, Thinly Sliced
6 Strawberries

photo 5 (1050x734)

1. Pickled Crostini
Dip each crostini into olive oil and Balsamic vinegar, top with a small amount of pickled carrot, beet and fennel.

2. Green Crostini
Spread each crostini with ½ Tbsp Pesto, stack with 3 slices of avocado and 1/3 stem of roasted asparagus.

3. Dessert Crostini
Spread each crostini with ½ Tbsp Goat cheese, stack with two sliced strawberries, and drizzle with 1 Tsp Balsamic reduction.

4. Let’s Get Saucey Crostini
Spread each crostini with 1 Tsp pesto and 1 Tsp Romesco, stack with two slices of roasted carrot, 1/3 stem of roasted asparagus, and one roasted grape tomato.

5. Raw Crostini
Spread each crostini with two slices of mashed avocado, stack with one slice of raw beet, two raw tomato halves and top with a raw fennel frond.

6. Farmer Crostini
Spread each crostini with ½ Tbsp Goat cheese, stack with two slices of avocado, one slice of roasted beet and top with 1 Tbsp of raw, thinly sliced fennel.

7. Roasted Vegetable Crostini
Dip each crostini in Balsamic vinegar, stack with two slices of roasted beet, three slices of roasted carrot and one slice of roasted fennel.

8. Orange Crostini
Spread each crostini with ½ Tbsp Romesco, stack with three sices of roasted carrot and two roasted yellow/orange grape tomatoes.

9. Mediterranean Crostini
Spread each crostini with ½ Tbsp Pesto, stack 1/3 stem of roasted asparagus, three roasted grape tomatoes and sprinkle with ¼ Tsp Feta to top.

10. Red Crostini
Dice two slices of roasted beet, one grape tomato and two strawberries and mix together. Dip each crostini in Balsamic vinegar, top with beet, tomato and strawberry mixture, and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

You can purchase the Romesco used in this recipe here, and the Pesto here.

Images via Whitney Lucas

Marlene is a passionate natural food chef, cultivating rustic dishes using locally grown and seasonal ingredients. While Chef Marlene is classically trained in French cuisine, she derives much of her culinary inspiration from her Mediterranean roots. She is the Co-Founder/Owner of Savour This Moment Catering & Events and Savour This Sauce. Savour This Moment is a boutique Los Angeles farmers market driven company and Savour This Sauce is a vegan, gluten-free sauce and dressing line.