Thursday, June 16, 2011
So I've been super flakey on this whole blog posting thing, huh? Kind of sporadic, a little on the random side, but I have a really good reason for it.
But it's a bit of a secret, so I'll keep it under my hat for a few weeks. CLIFFHANGER!
Anyway, on to the good part: Summer Crostini. It's summer (or June gloom if you're anywhere near LA) which means the farmer's market is a little more spectacular than usual. At the start of the season there's an amazing cross section of spring/summer, and those odd outliers that pop up much too early or cling on for dear life through the seasons.
I was planning on re-making a crostini I put together for my aunt's birthday weekend in Palm Springs, a simple combination of fava beans, roasted cherry tomatoes, some basil, and burrata, because burrata makes everything better.
I wander through the market this morning expecting to buy just that, but once I pass the stone fruit stalls I black out and don't come out of my food fog until I'm missing $30 and have 6 pounds of nectarines, plums, and peaches weighing me down. My list is wedged underneath a bag of lansen cherries, so what's a girl to do? Common sense is flung to the wind and I'm buying up whatever looks the most crostini worthy.
I come home and dump out my produce on the counter:
Kettle River Garlic
Brown Turkey Figs
Well then. Guess I'm making a ton of crostini. Not a problem.
Here's what I came up with:
Roasted Figs over Ricotta with Balsamic Vinegar
Sauteed Swiss Chard with Prosciutto and Gruyere (It's a fancy version of my favorite Ham and Cheese Sandwich)
Fava Beans and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes over Burrata with Basil
Sauteed Porcini Mushroom with Thyme, Jimenez Sherry Vinegar, and Shallot over Roasted Garlic
None of these take more than 20 minutes of active time to put together. The longest is roasting the garlic(45 minutes) but I did that while catching up on Game of Thrones. Added bonus, all of the ingredients can be made ahead of time and left in the fridge or on the counter, so you can whip them up easily right before you're ready to nosh. Enjoy!
Roasted Fig and Ricotta Crostini with Balsamic Vinegar
This simple combination makes the most of what the ingredients have to offer: sweet earthiness, rich creaminess, and a pop of pungency to brighten it up.
For 6 crostini
5 figs (I used brown turkey)
3/4 cup fresh ricotta
6 slices Italian bread or Baguette
Salt and Pepper
Balsamic Vinegar, for drizzling
Pre Heat your oven to 350 F. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bread is crisp and toasted. Turn the oven up to 400 F. Slice the figs into quarters and place on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the figs for about 20 minutes, or until bursting and colored. Smooth 2 tablespoons of ricotta onto each crostini (the bread) and top with 3-4 pieces of fig. Grind a little pepper over it and drizzle with Balsamic. Enjoy!
Sauteed Mushroom Crostini with Roasted Garlic, Jimenez Sherry Vinegar, and Truffle Oil
Earthy, almost meaty, mushrooms with sweet roasted garlic, the pungent acidity of vinegar and that wow factor of truffle oil makes this vegetarian option a slam dunk for mushroom lovers.
For 6 crostini
1 pound mushrooms, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces (I used porcini)
1 tsp thyme, chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
2 tbl Jimenez Sherry Vinegar
6 cloves of garlic
Salt and Pepper
Pre Heat your oven to 350 F. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bread is crisp and toasted. Turn the oven up to 400 F. In a saute pan over a medium flame, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the shallot. Add the mushrooms and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 15 minutes, until the mushrooms are browned and just getting soft. Add the thyme and cook for a minute or two longer. Add the vinegar and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and drizzle with a little truffle oil (a little goes a long way). In the meantime, wrap the peeled garlic in aluminum foil with a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt, and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, until soft and a deep golden brown. Smear a roasted clove on the crostini (the toast bread) and pile with mushrooms. Finish with a few fresh thyme leaves. Enjoy!
The Fancy Ham and Cheese: Sauteed Swiss Chard with Prosciutto and Gruyere
Something about this earthy, hearty combination with the pop of parsley makes this crostini the perfect snack. Really knock your socks off by putting these ingredients on a crossant and toasting it. Mmmmmmmmmm.
Makes 6 Crostini
1 bunch swiss chard, chopped into 1/4 wide pieces
1 garlic clove, minced
6 slices of prosciutto
6 thin slices of gruyere
1 tbl parsley leaves
Salt and Pepper
Pre Heat your oven to 350 F. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bread is crisp and toasted. In a saute pan over a medium flame, add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and add the swiss chard with a large pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for about 2 minutes, or until just wilted, and add the garlic, cooking for a few minutes more. Pile the swiss chard onto the crostini (the toasted bread) and add the slice of prosciutto and cheese. Top with a few parsley leaves. Enjoy!
Fava Bean and Roasted Cherry Tomato Crostini with Burrata and Basil
Light, simple, and the perfect transition dish into summer. Plus, BURRATA!
Makes 6 crostini
1/2 lb burrata (one ball), cut into 6 slices
1/2 lb fresh fava beans, shelled (if they're hard to hunt down, fresh peas would also work)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tablespoons basil, finely julienned
Salt and Pepper
Pre Heat your oven to 350 F. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes on the center rack, flip, and bake for another 5 minutes or until the bread is crisp and toasted. Turn the oven up to 400 F. Place the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet with a silicon pad or parchment, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast the tomatoes for about 20 minutes, or until bursting and colored. Meanwhile, boil a small pot of well salted water and prepare a small ice bath. Add the favas to the water and cook for about 90 seconds, until they bob to the top. Immerse them int o the ice bath and peel the rubbery outershell away. Smooth a slice of burrata onto each crostini (the bread) and top with about 10 favas and six cherry tomato halves. Whatever feels right. Grind a little pepper over it, drizzle with olive oil, and top with the basil. Enjoy!