It’s likely you’ve indulged in a crostini before, regardless of whether you knew what you were popping in your mouth. Crostini are those toasted or grilled pieces of bread that are typically topped with fruit, cheese, meat, or a combination of these things. They’re commonly served at parties as appetizers, and as bite-size finger foods, they’re big crowd pleasers. They whet your appetite for the meal ahead but don’t stuff you silly.
The great thing about crostini is their versatility, and today, we’re highlighting seven ways the toppings-on-toast aperitif comes to life. Pick your poison and try not to go back for seconds.
1. Fig and Brie Crostini
First up is a salty and sweet variation of the crostini from All Recipes. You’ve likely had brie on bread before, but have you ever kicked your appetizer up on a notch and added fig to the mix? This will take your crostini from satisfying to sophisticated and will add a sweet component to cut the salt of the cheese and bread.
- 1 cup finely chopped dried figs
- ½ cup cider vinegar
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup minced white onion
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 pinch garlic powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 pinch ground cloves
- 1 pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 loaf French bread, cut into 1-inch slices
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 1 round Brie cheese, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 Granny Smith apple, cut into matchstick-size pieces
- 1 tablespoon oregano
Directions: Combine figs, vinegar, brown sugar, onion, ginger, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, cloves, and cinnamon in a saucepan; simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until fig spread is reduced, about 30 minutes. Transfer fig spread to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight. Set oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven’s broiler.
Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet. Lightly spray both sides of each bread slice with olive oil cooking spray. Bake bread slices under the broiler until toasted, about 2 minutes per side. Remove bread from oven and cool slightly, keeping broiler on.
Blend fig spread in a blender or food processor until pureed. Spread about 1 teaspoon fig spread onto each toasted bread slice; top with Brie cheese and apple pieces. Sprinkle each crostini with oregano.
Broil crostini in the preheated oven until Brie cheese is melted and browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Crostini Al Mascarpone
Continuing with the cheese trend, we come to this Crostini Al Mascarpone recipe from Food.com. With this formula, mascarpone is the cheese of choice, and Parmesan also plays a role. Aside from the bread, this appetizer takes only three ingredients to make and will make your food guests warm up to smooth and salty mascarpone in its savory form.
- 1½ cups mascarpone cheese
- ¼ to ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 3 pinches marjoram
- 1 to 2 French baguettes
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix cheeses and add marjoram. Salt and pepper to taste. Slice baguette in thin (about ½ inch) slices. Spread cheese mixture on slices. Place prepared slices on a baking sheet and put sheet into preheated oven. Bake for a few minutes until hot and bubbly.
3. Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Crostini
Concluding our cheesy crostini is this Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Crostini from Betty Crocker. Goat cheese and caramelized onions are the perfect pairing. Like the aforementioned formulas on our list, this recipe is as easy as they come and can be prepared only 20 minutes before its baking time.
- 2 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
- 2 medium sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 24 slices (¼-inch thick) French bread baguette
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 package goat cheese, softened
- 1 package cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or oregano leaves
Directions: In 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onions; cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring every 3 to 4 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in salt, brown sugar, and vinegar. Cook 30 to 35 minutes longer, stirring every 5 minutes, until onions are deep golden brown. Cool slightly.
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place bread slices on ungreased cookie sheet; spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 6 to 9 minutes or until crispy. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine goat cheese and cream cheese; blending until smooth; set aside.
Place 1 teaspoon caramelized onions onto each bread slice; top with 1 rounded teaspoon cheese mixture. Sprinkle with herbs.
4. Avocado Crostini
Next up, avocado is the name of the game. Grab a baguette and two ripe avocados: Food & Wine pairs those two together and adds some seasonings and parsley pesto to the mix. Avocado toast is currently one of the hottest lunch offerings, but this sandwich-turned-appetizer won’t devastate your appetite.
- 1 large baguette, cut into ½-inch diagonal slices (32 slices total)
- ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
- 1½ cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 oil-packed anchovies, drained
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 Hass avocados, halved, pitted, and thinly sliced
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush the baguette slices with olive oil and arrange them on two baking sheets. Bake the baguette slices for about 8 minutes, until they are lightly browned and just crisp.
In a blender, combine the parsley leaves, garlic, anchovies, and ¾ cup of olive oil and puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Top the baguette toasts with the avocado slices and arrange on two platters.
5. Prosciutto Crostini With Lemony Fennel Slaw
If you have some meat eaters at your party, serve them these Prosciutto Crostini With Lemony Fennel Slaw from Real Simple. They’ll satisfy their craving for meat without complicating your kitchen. All you need for your toast topping is prosciutto, fennel, and parsley. Preheat your oven and get ready to broil.
- 24 thin slices baguette
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small fennel bulb, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ pound thinly sliced prosciutto
Directions: Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Toast until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the fennel, parsley, lemon juice, the remaining tablespoon of oil, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Divide the prosciutto evenly among the toasted baguette slices and top with the slaw.
6. Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Crostini
These Roasted Garlic and Sweet Potato Crostini from Saveur are next. This recipe combines sweet potatoes, garlic, sour cream, capers, and seasonings on a fresh loaf of ciabatta, introducing a new flavor combination many have never considered.
- 3 heads garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped capers, plus more for topping
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 loaf ciabatta, sliced diagonally ½-inch thick
Directions: Heat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut ¼ inch from the top of each garlic head, exposing the cloves. Drizzle each with olive oil and wrap tightly in foil. Place in a baking dish and bake until heads are soft and lightly browned, 30 to 40 minutes; let cool slightly. Squeeze cloves from skins into a bowl; set aside.
Combine sour cream, zest, capers, pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Heat olive oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add sweet potatoes, salt, and pepper; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined sheet; set aside.
Brush bread slices with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake, turning once, until crisp and golden, about 8 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly. Spread about 1 teaspoon of the roasted garlic on each crostini. Divide sour cream mixture between crostini. Top with sweet potatoes and garnish with chopped capers.
7. Roasted Grape Crostini With Goat Cheese and Walnuts
Have you ever roasted your grapes before? If not, you’re missing out, and you should try your hand at them with these Roasted Grape Crostini from Healthy Seasonal Recipes. Roasting grapes makes the fruit burst with flavor and allows the sweet grapes to pair perfectly with salty goat cheese and walnuts. Those three ingredients, topped with honey, complement each other perfectly when spread on fresh baguette slices, and they can serve as the perfect pre-meal treat.
- 4 cups red grapes
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup crumbed fresh goat cheese
- 24 slices baguette, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 tablespoon honey
Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Coat a large glass baking dish with cooking spray.
Stir grapes, oil, salt, thyme and pepper in a medium bowl. Spread out in one layer in the baking dish. Roast, stirring occasionally until wrinkled and caramelized, 48 to 55 minutes. Remove from the oven. Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the grapes, and stir to coat. Set aside.
Spread goat cheese on the baguette, dividing equally. Top with the grape mixture. Sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with honey.