crostini, fruit & company

March 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

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You know when you make that perfect treat for company. Everyone is wowed by how good it is. They make little comments about how you should be a chef and oh isn’t this just the best thing. When deep down you know it had nothing to do with talent, it was simply just a delicious, incredibly easy recipe. It’s a lovely feeling. It’s also these types of recipes that need to be shared with everyone!

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My boyfriend’s family came to visit a few weekends ago. I always love when we have company and I can cook a bunch of food, set a nice table, and open a couple of bottles of wine. My only complaint about hosting is that I try to limit the amount of cooking I have to do that day. I want to relax with company once they arrive and enjoy good food. So although most of the things we had that day were cold plates, they were still tasty and adored by everyone. There was a highlight, a new recipe, a risk I only like to make on one item when company comes, ricotta crostini with roasted grapes. And this was the wow recipe of the night.

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Crostini is a classic small plate but just recently I’ve seen so many recipes where ricotta and fruit are being added into the mix of toppings. I’ve tried a bunch of different toppings but these two recipes below are the fruit standouts.

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Grape & Thyme Crostini
This recipes is from Alexandra’s Kitchen

crusty bread, sliced
olive oil
ricotta
grapes
thyme
salt

Pear & Walnut Crostini
This recipe is from Martha Stewart

crusty bread, sliced
olive oil
ricotta
1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and lightly chopped
1 pear, thinly sliced
honey

If you have a panini press or George Foreman, I find these are ideal for making crostini. If you don’t, a grill or oven works too.

Press: Drizzle a bit of olive oil on one side of the sliced bread and place the oil side face down on the panini press. Add another touch of olive oil to the topside and repeat on all pieces of bread. Press the bread for 5 minutes until you get a crusty brown surface.

Oven: Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet, drizzle a bit of olive oil and place the slices of bread on the pan. Drizzle each slice with a bit more olive oil and bake for 6-8 minutes, or until the bread is crisp to the touch. You won’t get as much color this way, so make sure you don’t leave the bread in the oven too long.

For the grape crostini, preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, toss together grapes, a touch of olive oil and a pinch of salt; just enough to coat. Then add the thyme, pull some thyme off the stems and add a few full stems to the bowl. Toss everything onto a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 8 minutes. If you cook too long, the grapes will split open and lose their juices. Set aside and let cool.

For the pear crostini, in a small sauté pan over medium heat, place the lightly chopped walnuts. Toast until they become fragrant and are lightly browned. Remove from heat and cool.

Once you have your bread and walnuts toasted and your grapes are roasted, you’re ready to assemble. Spread a large spoonful of ricotta on each slice of bread. Top half of the bread with the roasted grapes and thyme (discard the thyme stems). Top the other bead with a couple slices of pear, a few walnuts and a drizzle of honey.

Serve together on one big platter!

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