I have unexpected guests. And they’re hungry but not “hungry.” And besides, as much as I love to cook, I want to spend time visiting with them right now.
Quick look in the refrigerator and pantry… I see one of my baguettes. Appetizers? A-ha! Crostini! We’ll get fancy and call it small bites. No wait, small plates!
What else … couple of apples, few brown bananas – nope, those aspire to be banana bread, what else … bit of cheese, and … a little prosciutto. Excellent.
Like most food, the better the ingredients, the better everything will taste. So hopefully you have good bread and whatever you top it with is the good stuff as well. (That includes the olive oil.) That said, don’t go crazy unless you’re trying to impress someone. I had proscuitto, sure, but it wasn’t top-of-the-line imported. Same with the cheese. It was all good but still realistic and within budget.
This is one part of a four part crostini series.
- Apple, Manchego, and Proscuitto Crostini
- Black Olive Tapenade Crostini
- Compound Shrimp Butter Crostini
- Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Balsamic Crostini
Crostini is Italian for “little toasts.” Nowadays it seems restaurants use it interchangeably with bruschetta. Okay.
For me bruschetta means three things: thicker-sliced bread than crostini, grilled if possible, and rubbed with garlic. Otherwise, like this, like that.
“Then what’s a canapé?”
A little of piece of bread or toast with some savory topping. Ah… I see where you’re headed.
Okay, back up. Crostini is the little toast. A canapé could also be on a cracker. And it’s not necessarily toasted.
“So like a crouton?”
There’s no right or wrong here, as far as I’m concerned at least. I’m going to toast a little sliced bread and put some yummy stuff on top of it. That’s what I have. So call it kismet.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Slice the bread thin. If it’s a small diameter loaf, like a baguette, slice it on the bias to make bigger pieces.
Arrange onto a baking sheet.
Paint with extra-virgin olive oil. Right up to the edges.
Into the oven for 8-10 minutes.
Wash and slice the apples.
Slice the cheese. I have manchego (from Costco) but any cheese that pairs well with apples and prosciutto would work. Use what you have.
Tear the prosciutto into crostini-sized pieces.
Okay, confession time, I don’t usually have prosciutto on hand. I’d like to be that person who does, but alas, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while. Some good ham could work here too. Preferably sliced very thin.
I decide to caramelize the apples a bit while I wait for the bread. Just to soften and sweeten them up a bit.
Into a non-stick pan over medium-high heat for a few minutes. Toss or turn. Work on getting everything else ready. Another few minutes. Good to go.
Stack it up and serve or, better yet, go interactive and let everyone make their own as they go. That way, everything becomes optional.
Be aware, there’s always someone who just eats the pieces separately. Or just all of one thing and nothing of the others. Nibbles and grazes, if you will. That’s okay. The idea is happy guests and you win.
Apple Manchego Proscuitto Crostini
Crostini are fantastic as an appetizer or a quick snack for just a few or even a crowd. The only limit is imagination. Visit suppertimeblues.com to learn more.
- 1 loaf of good bread like a baguette, sliced about ¼ inch thick
- 1-2 apples sliced into thin wedges
- 2-4 oz manchego or other firm cheese sliced into thin wedges
- 2-4 oz prosciutto or good ham sliced thin and torn small
- extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Slice the bread, apples, cheese, and meat. If you’re not eating meat then don’t do that part. 😊 The goal is to fit on the toast, how pretty is up to you.
- Arrange the bread on a baking sheet. Brush with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake for 8-10 minutes until browned and crisp.
Heat the apple slices in a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and cook until lightly browned on both sides. (Cook for a few minutes. Turn over or toss. Cook for another few minutes.)
- Once everything’s ready, stack the toppings on the crostini and serve.