Looking for some last minute ideas for New Year nibbles? Why not put an Italian twist into your festivities by serving a platter of crostini or “little toasts.” You can use ciabatta or sourdough bread to make crostini, but we prefer bite-size crostini so usually use a long thin baguette.
Hope you enjoy the different selection of toppings — and all the best for the New Year and the new decade!
1 large baguette — cut into half- inch slices. Place on a baking tray and brush on both sides with extra virgin olive oil. Bake at 400F/200C for 6 mins.
Topping 1: Smoked Salmon with Mascarpone Cheese and Baby Spinach
In a small bowl mix 3 tablespoons mascarpone cheese with 1 teaspoon finely diced red onion, 6 finely chopped capers, ¼ teaspoon finely chopped lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon salt and a little freshly ground black pepper. Serve crostini with a dollop of the mascarpone topped with a baby spinach leaf and slice of smoked salmon.
Topping 2: Roasted Red Pepper, Feta and Kalamata Olive
Top crostini with crumbled feta, roasted red pepper strips and a halved kalamata olive. Add freshly cracked black pepper to garnish.
Topping 3: White Bean and Sun-dried Tomato Puree with Marinated Artichoke Hearts
In a food processor combine 1 cup canned cannelini beans, ¼ cup sundried tomatoes, ½ clove garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons each extra virgin olive oil and water and process until smooth (makes about 1 cup). Serve a dollop of the bean puree on the crostini topped with a quartered marinated artichoke heart.
Topping 4: Garlic Chili Shrimp
Saute ½ cup cooked baby shrimp in ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil with ½ clove garlic, ¼ teaspoon chili flakes for two minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of finely chopped fresh parsley and 1 teaspoon lemon juice then top crostini with the mixture.
Topping 5: Cherry Tomato, Basil and Parmesan
Place 1 cherry tomato (halved) on each crostini. Top with a fresh basil leaf and shaved Parmesan then drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and garnish with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.