Upon getting some of my appetite back (huzzah), I celebrated with a trio of crostini. Now, having learned last summer that the key to good crostini (bruschetta, whatever) is none of this soggy untoasted white bread mess— no, none of that– spray those pieces of ciabbata or what-have-you crusty white bread with good olive oil and then pan fry them or broil them until they are toasty and crisp, damnit, crisp. If you wanted to add salt and fresh ground black pepper, well, I wouldn’t stop you, you set those crostini aside on some brown paper to dry and await toppings of goodness.
And boy, are these toppings good. The recipes below go left to right as shown in the picture.
Topping one: Ricotta and Peach Crostini with Pistachios, from the NYT. I have, since the making of this picture, tweaked the recipe.
I know. You are SHOCKED. But the arugula and peaches and pistachios all fell off and got messy, dang it. So– I chopped the arugula, mixed it and the pistachios, parmesan, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper into the ricotta, and slathered that onto the bread. Then, having tossed the peaches, cut a bit smaller than shown in this picture, I put them on top of the cheese mixture, and served them that way. There was far less toppings-succumbing-to-gravity, and way more toppings-going-into-your-mouth. Which is as it should be.
Topping two: Kale and Pecorino Crostini from Bon Appetit.
Again, recipe tweakage. I used 1 tsp anchovy paste from a tube, and added 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes at the point at which the kale goes in to saute in the oil. I also felt the kale could use a squeeze of acid, so after I took it off of the heat, I hit it with a splash, no more than a teaspoon, of red wine vinegar.
Topping three: Spuma di Mortadella from the NYT. (This also goes really well as a dip with raw pears, by the way.)
I didn’t use the cubed mortadella, just got the weight called for, sliced, at the deli. It chopped up just fine in the food processor. Other than that, I didn’t vary the recipe. This was absolutely incredible, a recipe I will make again and again, and so very easy, although the peach one is a very close second. One thing I might try just to see what I think in the future is a wee bit of lemon zest (or maybe orange) in the mix the next time, since it’s meatmeatmeatmeat, super rich in its flavor, and the floral hit of the zest might be a nice contrast. But this is a great appetizer, no doubt, and super easy to make, and way less expensive than any pate. The pistachio topping? Well, that’s all just classy shit. Because that’s what we’re all about chez blc. Classy toppings and shit. Just ignore the piles of dishes off in the kitchen.
As a woman far greater than me once said– bon appetit.