Quick Cheesy Crostini
I'm always looking for fun bits and pieces to nibble on and if you are anything like me - appetizers can be the favorite part of my meal. So if you are looking for something new to serve up to friends over drinks or a fun way to serve up something new for the kids then this recipe is perfect! Crostini is the french word for baked or fried bread (I'm already sold), often served with other accompaniments. These are also vegetarian friendly.
If you have a little food processor, like the kind you use for chopping up a couple of onions and things like that - that is perfect for this recipe. I whipped up the herb/cheese butter in my little Magimix Le Micro food processor in no time so if you have a mini food processor it will make the process a snap. Of course a good old bowl and fork will also do the trick.
Serve your crostini as part of an anti-pasto platter with your favorite dips and sauces, olives, meats etc.
These can also work brilliantly in place of your traditional garlic bread to accompany your pasta dishes but are a little more on the crunchier side and work well as fancy croutons with your favorite salad - yep they are so versatile!
You can use this cheese & herb spread to make yummy cheese toasts, mix into scrambled eggs or add to some fresh pasta
Add finely chopped salami or bacon to make these a little heartier
YOU WILL NEED
1 large french stick - my loaf made approximately 24 slices
5-6 garlic cloves crushed
A little oil for cooking your garlic, I used rice bran oil
150g | 5 ounces melted butter
150g | 5 ounces cream cheese
2 tablespoons roughly chopped basil (you could use fresh parsley, coriander, thyme, chives, etc)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon paprika or chilli powder
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Chilli flakes (optional)
Freshly chopped herbs for serving (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
Slice your french stick into even slices approximately 2cm/3/4" in thickness. You can cut them straight or on a diagonal if you wish (that is what I did). Set aside.
In a small frying pan, add a little oil and add your crushed garlic and allow to saute until fragrant. Set aside.
In a small food processor, add the butter, cream cheese, coriander (or herbs of your choice), lemon juice, paprika, and the garlic and process into a smooth spreadable paste. (You can also do this step in a medium sized mixing bowl).
Generously spread the mixture over BOTH sides of the bread and place into your baking dish. I used 2 round dishes approximately 22cm/9" in diameter.
Continue to spread the mixture on both sides of each piece of bread, slightly overlapping each piece of bread, so you get a pretty pattern. Do this until both serving dishes are filled with your butter coated bread slices.
Sprinkle your Parmesan cheese evenly between your two dishes.
Sprinkle with some chilli flakes, if you desire.
Place in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the bread looks golden.
Sprinkle with some more fresh herbs and serve immediately.
MAKES 24 SLICES