Tell me, who doesn’t love a variety of yummy mix & match toppings on little pieces of grilled bread? Here’s a party idea that you can easily pull off this weekend: grill some bread to make a big batch of crostini, chill some rosé, gather a bunch of toppings (and a bunch of friends)… and you have a fun, casual crostini party!
How to Make Crostini
Crostini may seem fancy, but making them is actually simple. If you’re not familiar with them, they’re thin slices of grilled or toasted baguette that are great for serving with a variety of toppings. To make them, just cut a baguette into thin slices, grill them until nice char marks form, and drizzle them with olive oil, rub them with garlic, and season them with salt and pepper. If you don’t have a grill, don’t worry! You could also toast the bread slices in a 400-degree oven until they’re nice & crispy.
Crostini are the perfect addition to a big party appetizer platter, and I love setting them out with a variety of spreads, jams, fruits, and cheeses so guests can create their own customized snacks!
Crostini Recipe Topping Recommendations
When you’re making crostini, the combinations you can put together are endless, but I do have a strategy when I assemble my toppings. I choose ingredients that hit on a variety of flavors and textures – sweet, savory, salty, fruity, herb-y, creamy, crunchy – so that each of the bread slices will have an interesting combination of elements.
Here are some of my go-to topping ideas to include in an appetizer spread:
- Cheeses are great salty, complex elements. You can use soft or hard cheeses. We like to use brie, white cheddar, manchego, gouda, or a sprinkle of crumbled feta.
- Creamy spreads like cashew cream or bean dip create a nice contrast to the crisp crostini. You could even use wedges of brie or a slather of pesto to fulfill this category.
- Fresh herbs like thyme, oregano, basil, and mint are one of my go-tos for giving each small bite a punch of interesting flavor.
- Fresh fruit like grapes, figs, pomegranate, peaches, or even cherry tomatoes add sweet/tart pops of flavor and juicy texture.
- Crushed toasted nuts like pistachios and pine nuts add toasty flavor and crunch.
- Jams and chutneys bring their own complex sweet & savory tastes to crostini. I especially like the ones that Stonewall Kitchen makes, and I’ll reach for them when I’m entertaining and I don’t want to make everything myself.
Your guests can, of course, mix and match crostini toppings to their hearts’ desire, but these were some of our favorite combinations:
If you love these crostini ideas…
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 3 hours or preferably overnight, rinsed and drained
- ⅓ cup fresh water, more as needed
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 small garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper
- Make the cashew cream: Place the cashews, water, lemon juice, garlic and salt in a high speed blender and puree until smooth. Chill for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
- Make the crostini: Heat a grill or grill pan. Drizzle the baguette slices with olive oil and grill until char marks form, about 4 minutes per side. While the bread slices are still warm, rub both sides with the cut side of the garlic clove and season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble crostini ingredients and serve!
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