Crostini – with 4 fabulous topping options! A simple, easy canapé comprised of crispy toasted bread topped with Smoked Salmon with Lemon Dill Cream Cheese, Caprese, Shrimp/Prawns with Avocado or Mediterranean Mix.
Crostini is a fantastic two-bite finger food option that’s economical and easy to make, the perfect appetizer to pass around at a party or serve before dinner. The bread can be made days and days in advance – it stays crispy for ages!
Everybody loves finger food. No need to deal with a knife and fork, struggle with chopsticks or scoop with spoons. Just clutch your cocktail and use your other to pop these in your mouth!
“Crostini” means “little toast” in Italian and that’s exactly what it is – thin, small slices of bread toasted until crisp then piled with toppings.
As for what toppings – you’re only limited by your imagination! From vegetables to cured meats, seafood to cheese, there’s really no rules for what to pile on.
Today, I’m share 4 of my favourite Crostini Toppings which are pretty classic flavour combinations:
- Smoked Salmon with Lemon Dill Cream Cheese;
- Caprese – tomato, bocconcini and basil finished with balsamic glaze;
- Prawn / Shrimp with Avocado; and
- Mediterranean – ricotta topped with chopped olives, sun dried tomatoes and other antipasto-type things.
First, let me show you how to make the Crostini itself.
What you need
The key here is to find a small, thinnish baguette / French stick. Small enough so once sliced, the bread is “two bite” size. Crostini are meant to be canapé size!
The garlic is used to lightly rub the bread for a hint of garlic flavour. This gives the crostini a subtle hint of garlic flavour that gives it a special edge. Cheffy tip!
How to make Crostini
Slice the bread thinly, brush both sides with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt then bake until crisp, rubbing with garlic halfway through the bake.
Bake the bread until it’s 100% crisp – that’s how crostini is supposed to be (unlike Bruschetta which is toasted so it’s still soft of the inside).
TIP: The crostini bread can be made days and days in advance!
1. Smoked Salmon Crostini
This is a very classic flavour combination – smoked salmon with something creamy (cream cheese), lemony, dill (best mates with salmon!) and capers.
This is a very elegant Crostini topping option that would be right at home passed around over pre dinner champagne or Mimosas at a special occasion dinner party.
Or, in the case of my family and friends, crowding around the kitchen bench politely waiting for the last one to be assembled before hands dive in to grab them!
2. Caprese Crostini
You’ll love the combination of the creamy bocconcini with the juicy cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and the pops of intense sweet/tang from the Balsamic glaze!
3. Prawn / Shrimp Crostini with Avocado
This is always the first to go! (Don’t ask me why it’s not the first one I’m sharing ?). Garlic shrimp/prawns and avocado is an addictive combination (try this Shrimp/Prawn Avocado Salad!).
Add a drizzle of lime juice, a fresh sprinkle of coriander/cilantro, pile it onto the crunchy crostini and be prepared for a mouthful of heaven!
I make this a LOT because it’s the quickest to prepare! Just buy a tub of mixed antipasto, smear ricotta on the crostini, pile on the antipasto and you’re done.
You get all the free juiciness and flavour from whatever the antipasto was marinated in. It’s colourful so it looks good. And it’s just a great combination of flavour and textures – ricotta also helps keep the topping stick to the crostini better.
And there we have it – just 4 of hundreds, thousands of topping possibilities!
But they’re my 4 favourite crostini toppings. Pretty classic flavour combinations, simple to make, and something for everyone!
Watch how to make it
Crostini - 4 delicious ways!
- 30 slices artisan type baguette or French stick , cut 0.5cm / 1/4-inch thick on the diagonal (Note 1)
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove , cut in half
Caprese (makes 30):
- 350g/ 12 oz baby bocconcini (small ones), cut into 8 (Note 2)
- 400g/ 14 oz cherry tomatoes , cut into 8 (Note 3)
- 1/2 cup (packed) basil leaves , finely sliced
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 tsp salt and pepper , each
- 4 tbsp balsamic glaze , store bought or homemade
Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream Cheese (makes 30):
- 250g/ 8oz spreadable cream cheese (or creme fraiche, Note 4)
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt and pepper , each
- 1/3 cup dill , finely chopped
- 500g/ 1 lb smoked salmon , cut into 2cm / 4/5" x 7.5cm / 3" strips
- 75g/ 2.5oz baby capers
- 30 dill sprigs , for garnish
Mediterranean (makes 30):
- 500g/ 1 lb antipasto mix - olives (pitted), peppers, sun dried tomato, artichokes
- 250g/ 8 oz ricotta , or similar (smooth easiest to spread)
Prawns/Shrimp Avocado (makes 30):
- 500g/1 lb prawns/shrimp , peeled and deveined
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp olive oil , separated
- 2 eschallots/French onions , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup coriander/cilantro leaves , finely chopped
- 2 tbsp lime juice
- 2 avocados , halved and seed removed
- Preheat oven to 160°C / 320°F.
- Brush bread with oil, sprinkle with salt, flip and repeat.
- Bake 5 minutes. Remove, then rub the surface lightly with garlic.
- Bake for a further 5 minutes until completely crispy, then remove and cool.
- Spoon over Topping(of choice. Transfer to serving platter and serve!
- Place all ingredient except balsamic glaze in a bowl and gently toss. Taste and add more salt & pepper if desired.
- Spoon onto crostini, then drizzle with balsamic glaze. Transfer to serving platter.
Smoked Salmon with Dill Cream Cheese:
- Mix cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper.
- Spread on crostini, then fold salmon on top.
- Top with 3 capers, sprig of dill. Transfer to serving platter.
- Finely chopped antipasto mix.
- Smear crostini with ricotta, pile of antipasto. Transfer to platter.
- Toss prawns with 1 tbsp oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Preheat large skillet over high heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. Add half the prawns and cook until just cooked. Remove, then repeat with remaining prawns.
- Cool, then chop into 0.75cm / 1/3" pieces and transfer to bowl.
- Add 1 tbsp olive oil, eschallots, coriander and lime. Toss, then add more salt and pepper to taste.
- Assemble: Smear crostini with avocado, then spoon over shrimp. Transfer to serving platter.
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