Crostini Craziness

artichoke & parmesan crostini Flickr Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stone-soup

Crostini , which means “little toasts” in Italian, is a fantastic appetizer to prepare for guests or bring to a party. It can be prepared in advance and usually involves simple and inexpensive ingredients (you might have sensed a theme in my cooking- easy and cheap).

My family has a favorite recipe that we use- Olive Crostini (unsure of the original source). It is always a huge hit at parties and I usually find myself having about ten pieces because it is that addicting! This weekend I made it myself for the first time for a housewarming party and I loved how easy it was to prepare. I actually stored it in a tupperware container and brought it to the party with baguettes and finished it there. The recipe does involve a food processor (which a lot of people in their early to mid-twenties do not own), but it’s worth the investment- it cuts down your prep work and ensures the right consistency. This whole recipe took about ten-fifteen minutes max to prepare.

Olive Crostini Recipe

½ Cup Black Olives
½ Cup Green Olives
2 Medium Cloves Garlic
½ Cup Grated Parmesan
4 Tbsp. Butter or Margarine
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
½ Cup Monterey Jack Cheese (Grated)
¼ Cup Fresh Parsley (Chopped)

Chop olives coarsely in food processor. Transfer to medium bowl. With machine running, drop garlic through feed tube and mince. Add Parmesan , butter and olive oil. Process into paste. Add butter mixture to bowl with olives. Fold in Monterey jack and parsley. Mix well. (Makes 24)

Spread across thinly sliced pieces of baguettes, and stick in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 mins or less.

Here is another recipe I found on the Stone Soup blog for Parmesan and Artichoke crostini which is a tad healthier than the other, but looks equally delicious and simple to prepare:

 Parmesan and Artichoke Crostini

8 thin slices baguette
1/2 clove garlic
4 large good quality artichoke hearts marinated in oil
3Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
large handful grated parmesan cheese
small handful lemon thyme leaves

Pick leaves from the artichokes then halve remaining heart. Remove the hairy choke bit and roughly chop the heart. Heat oil in a small frying pan. Add artichokes and sliced garlic and cook over medium heat stirring periodically until golden brown. Prepare bread as above. Stir cheese through artichoke mixture and divide between crostini. Top with lemon thyme leaves and season with s&p.

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