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>Creative Crostini

Posted on November 29, 2010 by Glutenfreeda

>Even though Thanksgiving has passed, Christmas is right around the corner and many of us are only beginning to entertain for the holidays. This week, we’re featuring a lot of different options for one of our favorite appetizers: crostini. Crostini, Italian for “little toasts” are toasted slices white bread, topped with fruits, vegetables, cheeses and/or nuts to create a sweet & savory appetizer. Also known as bruschetta, crostini are traditionally prepared by first toasting the bread slices and then topping with fresh vegetables or fruits, etc. however, another great way to prepare these perfect hors d’oeuvres can also be topped and then baked or broiled for a warmer alternative.

Crostini or bruschetta has always been one of my favorite appetizers. And I’ve had success making gluten-free French bread to then make gluten-free crostini, however, the problem is it is time-intensive and requires a lot of prior planning. Often, when I’m entertaining, I’m focusing most of my attention on the main entrée and want just some yummy appetizers that can be easily and quickly thrown together. Prior to being gluten-free crostini was just that – quick and easy. Just buy a baguette, toast and top with a delicious topping. But as you probably know, there aren’t that many, if any, good gluten-free baguettes readily available at the grocery store. So what was once an easy appetizer then became kind of a more difficult challenge…until now.

This past month I had a dinner party and really wanted to make crostini and I had an idea that I thought might work to once again make crostini easy and delicious, gluten-free. I have had great success with Udi’s gluten-free bread for sandwiches and toast, but since it’s sold as sandwich bread that is really as far as I had taken it. Then I thought, why wouldn’t it work to use it as crostini? So I cut off outer crust of each slice and cut each piece on the diagonal to give me cute little bread triangles. I then lightly coated each slice with oil (in this case I used walnut oil) with a pastry brush and toasted them in the oven. Then I topped them with my topping and voila – what resulted was perfect, delicious crostini appetizers that were beautiful in presentation!

Not only was the crostini great but the topping I used was spectacular as well. This is a great recipe for the holidays and now only takes just a few minutes to pull together

-Chef Yvonne

Here are some of our favorite crostini & bruschetta recipes from over the years. Although most recipes officially call for gluten-free french bread or a baguette, we have had such great luck using Udi’s that we recommend you give it a try!

Don’t forget – crostini and bruschetta can easily be gluten-free/dairy-free – just omit the cheese! The most basic and traditional Italian recipe calls for lightly toasted bread slices topped with freshly diced tomatoes, minced basil, a little bit of minced garlic or onion, and a sprinkle of olive oil.

Bruschetta with Tomato, Smoked Salmon & Herbs
Kalamata Olive Pate with Roasted Garlic & Basil Crostini
Lemon Basil Crostini
Warm Goat Cheese Crostini with Honey, Rosemary & Walnuts
Bruschetta with Gorgonzola & Apples
Bruschetta with Honeyed Tomatoes & Mascarpone
Goat Cheese & Sun Dried Tomato Bruschetta (seen above)
Roasted Pepper Bruschetta

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