December 5, 2007

Crostini for the Holidays

While laying in bed this afternoon, hoping that I just might be turning the corner on whatever this body-beating illness I have is, I caught the tail end of an old episode of “Molto Mario.” He was recreating a meal you would get at the Hotel Lancelloti in the Emilia-Romagna region, in northern Italy. Part of the meal included an array of crostini, or, as MM called them, crostini misti.

Occasionally we make what I guess would fall into the crostini category, a combination of a number of strongly flavored ingredients, but with roasted red peppers as the star. It has holiday-themed colors, and is really easy to make [Wish I had a picture. Made this just a few weeks ago and forgot to snap one. Doh!], so it's an ideal appetizer if you’ve got some friends coming over or as part of a small dinner party.

One important note: The measurements here are guesstimations of the highest order. The roasted red pepper, again, is the star, so should be the predominant component.

Roasted Red Pepper Crostini

  • 1 cup of roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
  • ½ cup of large, tender green olive, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of red onion, finely diced
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of capers, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
  • Two big swirls of high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • A little salt and pepper
  • 1 fresh baguette, cut on the diagonal into half-inch slices

Preheat the oven to 325.

Combine the peppers through capers, swirl on the olive oil, add the salt and pepper, and lightly stir together with a spoon. Again, I typically wing this, so taste at this point and see what you think. Might need a little more of something or another. This is an easy preparation to remedy.

Put the bread slices on a baking pan, and toast in the oven for about 2-3 minutes, just enough to get lightly toasted, and then remove. Put a healthy spoonful of the red pepper mixture on each bread slice You don’t want to do this too early, or the bread will become soggy and fall apart while people try to eat.

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