Maybe you call them toasts. Perhaps you prefer crostini. Regardless, these small bites have summer gatherings written all over them They're simple to throw together, easy for guests to eat, and a good excuse to experiment with seasonal produce.
In the summer, we usually have very casual, impromptu gatherings more than formal dinner parties. Many of our friends work in restaurants so our weekends are usually at the beginning of the week rather than the more common Saturday/Sunday affair. And I'm rarely inspired to spend my day off in the kitchen in the middle of summer, so crostini, quick salads, and something to grill are usually what we rely on.
Crostini are especially perfect in the summer because while they're quick and simple to put together, they're also substantial so it's easy to form a meal around them — especially for a lunch gathering. I've had incredible crostini with smoked trout this week at a local restaurant and a fresh fig and honey version at a friend's house. Both were filling in their own way; paired with a salad, a summer lunch is born.
Crostini are also easy to prepare for all kinds of eaters: meat-eaters and vegetarians (or vegans) alike can be accommodated easily. And they're portable, so friends can enjoy the gathering without having to think about plates and forks. I'm sold.
In case you're lacking in inspiration, here are a few recipes to get you started — most of which I've tried myself.
(Image: Emily Ho)