Italian Crostini “Crostini”!  Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?  For those who think it might be too fancy or difficult to prepare and are already moving to the next page, please don’t do that.  Stick with us for a few more...

Italian Crostini
Italian Crostini

“Crostini”!  Sounds fancy, doesn’t it?  For those who think it might be too fancy or difficult to prepare and are already moving to the next page, please don’t do that.  Stick with us for a few more minutes.  You will soon learn, that this dish is really simple and easy to prepare.   I call it the ultimate “what can you find in the fridge” dish.  Why is that?

 ”Crostini” also known as “Crostino” is basically an Italian appetizer prepared with toasted or grilled bread with whatever kind of topping you can imagine.  Nice Italian bread is often used but mostly you would see it served on ciabatta and the toppings range from any kind of herbs, oils, vegetables, meats or cheeses.  For those unexpected visitors “crostini” is so easy to prepare as bread and some of the above mentioned ingredients can usually be found in the kitchen.  Again, “what can you find in the fridge” dish!

It’s really funny that for ages I served myself toasted or grilled bread with an array of toppings, without even knowing I was preparing a well-known Italian specialty ... I guess there is a little bit of chef in each one of us!

It’s only a couple of years ago that I was “officially” introduced to this dish by my boyfriend/future husband at the time and it was love at first sight (of course I’m talking about “Crostini” ;-) ).  It was our official second date and he decided to take me to a really nice and tiny Italian winery, where we also found a tiny menu to compliment all their delicate wines.  Being the real gentleman that he is, he picked a wine and suggested the dish to pair with it and to this day,  I’m glad I followed his suggestion as I’m not sure I would ever think of choosing this particular dish.

So if you are thinking of making something slightly different and interesting that doesn't take much time and is nice and tasty, this dish is definitely for you.  I guarantee it will be a winner and everyone will ask you for the recipe.

Vegetable Crostini

Ingredients:

Ingredients
Ingredients

To prepare the dish for two people, you will need:

  • 2 Ciabattas
  • ½ Aubergine
  • 1 Pepper, green,red or yellow
  • 2 Larger tomatoes
  • 2 Big mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Parsley, and a leaf for decoration

Preparation time:

  • 30 Minutes

Directions:

  1. Cut separately each vegetable: aubergine, pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes into small squares.
  2. In the saucepan mix 3 TBS of olive oil with aubergine and stir-fry until soften (I like to cook aubergine for a bit longer so it’s really soft, almost melting in your mouth), then add ¼ TSP of salt and 1/8 TSP of  pepper, or as per your liking.

    Preparation
    Preparation

  3. Repeat step 2 with each of the remaining vegetables, stir-fry separately: tomatoes, mushrooms and peppers.
  4. While vegetable is being stir-fried, turn the oven to 180 C, there’s no need to preheat the oven. Cut ciabatta in half and in half again so you would have 4 pieces for each person. Drizzle each slice with ¼ TSP of olive oil and put on the baking tray. Place tray in the middle position of the oven and grill for approximately 5 to 10 minutes or until bread is slightly grilled and golden brown – we all have different type of oven, therefore time may vary.

    Drizzle each slice with olive oil
    Drizzle each slice with olive oil

  5. Once all vegetable is nicely cooked and bread grilled, serve each slice of bread with 2 TBS of one of the vegetables. Sprinkle with some parsley and a leak for decoration.

Italian Crostini
Italian Crostini

It’s done and as promised earlier… nice, easy and quick … serve it with some wine of your choice and you’ll experience, as we say: “Heaven in your mouth” :-D

BUON APPETITO!

TIPS:

  • As toppings you can also use some herbs with olive oil, green/red pesto, salmon/tuna or any topping of your liking. Your options are really unlimited.
  • For that ultimate “Italian” experience you can add a nice cheese board – just put together an assortment of cheeses with some honey for dipping.  Everyone will love you for that!