Crostini With Tasty Toppings

This recipe is quick and easy to execute and makes 30 crostini bases, but you can make more if you're serving a hungry group. The slices will keep up to 10 days well sealed in a plastic bag but not refrigerated. If you absolutely do not want to turn on the oven, you can buy excellent crostini at the supermarket.


  • 1 baguette
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, cut in half


Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cut baguette into thin slices no more than ½-inch thick. Place bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden, turning over once if needed.

Remove from oven, brush lightly with olive oil and rub with cut side of garlic clove. Makes 30 or more crostini.



This spicy pepper-laced dip has more kick than hummus.


  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped jalapenos or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine chickpeas in a bowl and crush with a fork or potato masher. Add chopped jalapenos, garlic, olive oil and parsley and mix together. Season well with salt and pepper to taste.



If you can find burrata, the creamy cheese from Puglia, it is fabulous in this recipe. If you have leftovers, it's great melted on toast for breakfast.


  • 1 ball buffalo mozzarella
  • 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup fire-roasted chilies (depending on heat)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Tear mozzarella into pieces and toss with chilies and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.


If you can find warm fresh ricotta, its homey flavour is unbeatable, although regular fresh ricotta is excellent too.


  • 2 cups fresh ricotta
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black peppercorns
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemon balm

Break ricotta into small pieces. Mix with honey, black pepper and salt. Garnish with lemon balm.


A cross between a guacamole and a salsa, this salad refreshes the tongue.

  • 1½ cups chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil
  • 1½ teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Combine tomatoes, red onion, avocado and basil. Whisk together balsamic vinegar and olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss together.


Italian oil-packed tuna is ideal for this recipe. If you can't find it, substitute one regular can of drained solid white tuna and add in 2 extra tablespoons of olive oil.

  • 2 80-gram cans light Italian tuna in oil
  • 2 teaspoons capers
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mash tuna using a fork. Add capers, shallots, egg and sherry vinegar and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.



This is one of my favourite toppings, a kind of bridge from crostini to dessert.

  • 1 pear, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 ounces (125 grams) taleggio cheese, thinly sliced
  • 8 basil leaves, torn
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Toss pear with lemon juice to keep it from discolouring. Serve atop crostini slices with sliced taleggio and basil leaves. Season lightly with salt and pepper.