Perfect Crostini

published Sep 13, 2021
Crostini Recipe

The better your base, the better your appetizer will be.

Serves8

Prep10 minutes

Cook7 minutes to 10 minutes

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Crostini (crusty bread brushed with olive oil, sliced and toasted in the oven or in the grill), on a wooden cutting board with toppings, with olive oil and figs in a bowl in the background
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Crostini are often seen as a vehicle for meats, cheese, dips, and spreads. And while it may be true that its main job is to house tastier toppings, the humble slice of bread deserves your attention too. The better your base, the better your appetizer will be.

What Temperature Should I Bake Crostini?

Bread will toast at any temperature you bake it. But after some trial and error, I’ve come to realize that a quick, hot blast at 450ºF for 7 to 8 minutes is ideal. Toasting it below 400ºF takes twice as long to brown, drying out the bread. You end up with croutons. A hotter, shorter trip in the oven results in toasty edges with a tender middle.

What Bread Should I Use for Crostini?

Using a baguette is the quickest and easiest way. Simply cut it into 1/2-inch-thick slices, brush with olive oil, and pop it in the oven. You can use a larger loaf, but getting thin slices gets trickier the wider it is. (A thick piece of toast is too tricky to eat neatly.)

What Can I Top Crostini With?

Meats and cheese often get all the love, but I personally use crostini to highlight fruits and vegetables. Cheese and meat can still be used as accents and flavorings, but a little round of toast is the perfect way to celebrate seasonal produce. A perennial favorite is a slice of cheese (something buttery and smooth or sharp and funky are both great) paired with whatever fruit is at its peak. Ripe figs in the late summer, pears in the fall, pomegranate seeds in the winter, and anything from cherries to apricots to crushed blackberries work from spring to summer. A drizzle of honey and some toasted pine nuts finish things off nicely.

More Topping Ideas

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Do I Need to Season Crostini?

Eaten on its own, crostini can benefit from the help of salt and pepper. But if you’re planning on topping it with something or serving it with a dip, relying on olive oil for flavor and moisture makes more sense. Many toppings can be pretty salty on their own, and seasoning the crostini would put it over the top. If you want to add salt and pepper, adding flaky salt and freshly cracked black pepper after you’ve added your toppings provides texture as well as taste.

Crostini Recipe

The better your base, the better your appetizer will be.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 7 minutes to 10 minutes

Serves 8

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1

    baguette

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons

    olive oil

Optional toppings:

  • Fresh figs, quartered

  • Blue cheese

  • Honey

Instructions

  1. Arrange a rack in the top third of the oven and heat the oven to 450ºF.

  2. Using a serrated knife, slice 1 baguette into 1/2-inch-thick slices on a slight diagonal. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush with 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil.

  3. Bake until the very edges start to brown but the centers are still pale, 7 to 10 minutes. Let cool before topping as desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Crostini can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.