Making your own Crostini is so easy and tastes way better than any prepackage store-bought variety.
When I lived in Italy I learned how easy it is to make this simple Crostini with just two simple ingredients.
Make the Crostini ahead of time and freeze some for salad croutons or top a French onion soup or crumble over some homemade tomato soup.
Why you should make your own Crostini.
- Less food waste, instead of throwing out the stale bread, make Crostini and freeze it for later.
- Store-Bought often has a strange taste and may have preservatives or added sodium.
- Baguette, Sourdough, Ciabatti, or Artisan Breads all work nicely. Bake up a classic Crostini from a sliced baguette or go from something a little fancier by using an herbed bread. Really you can use any bread you have
- Olive Oil – Use and Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
- Garlic - optional depending on the topping.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. this is also a great small batch toaster oven recipe
Slice the bread into thin slices, about 1/3 - 1/2 inch thick. You want it thick enough to stand up to the topping yet thin enough not to overpower it.
Place the sliced bread on a baking sheet and bake until lightly brown and crisp, about 10 minutes. Both sides should be toasted.
Remove from oven and brush lightly with olive oil. Depending on what topping you are using, rub with garlic.
Let cool before serving. If you are servng later then cover loosely with foil.
Equipment used to make Crostini
- Bread knife
- Cutting board
- Baking sheet
- Pastry brush
Can you make Crostini ahead of time?
Yes, it’s the perfect make ahead appetizer. Baked Crostini can be stored for 2-3 days at room temperature. If they have lost some of the crispiness, bake in the oven for a few minutes to crisp them up.
Can you freeze Crostini?
Yes, slice the bread and brush both sides with olive oil, freeze on a baking sheet then place in a Ziploc bag. When ready to use, bake in the oven until crisp. When baking from frozen the Crostini will need a couple more minutes to brown and crisp up.
Can I use fresh bread to make Crostini?
Absolutely, especially if you are making a larger quantity for a party you might not have that much stale bread around.
Simple Crostini Topping Ideas
Another favorite recipe of mine from my days running a Spaghetteria in Italy
Crostini with Sweet Red Peppers
Take one large red pepper, cut lengthwise, seeded, and slice into very thin long strips. In a small skillet heat two teaspoons of olive oil on medium heat and add the garlic and peppers and saute the peppers for several minutes until the peppers are soft. The peppers should be aromatic but not browned. Add in one teaspoon of red wine vinegar and saute for another couple of minutes.
For something a little more complex go with a Caponata like this one from the New York Times.
Other Simple topping ideas to try:
- Thin slice of tomato with a dollop of tuna and sprinkle of pepper.
- Gruyere cheese and avocado slices
- Classic Bruschetta
- A smear of cream cheese and a little shaved ham
- A smear of cream cheese and thin sliced cucumber
- leftover Bolognese sauce is also really good!