Crostini, plain and simple

Crostini, plain and simple Crostini, plain and simple
 
Meaning “little toasts” in Italian, I bet I’ve made a thousand of these.  And you’d think it’d be so easy to make toast, you’re probably wondering why I’d even bother to do a blog post about it?  Well, out of those thousand I shudder to think how many were inedible.  You know the old saying, “A watched pot never boils,”?  Well, it’s been my experience that a watched crostini never bakes but an unwatched one almost always burns.  So you see the dilemma.  But I keep on making them because they are a great vehicle for all kinds of appetizer toppings, a tasty alternative to “cracker” in “cheese and crackers,” and they’ve perfect for soups of all kinds. I also love the fact that you can vary the flavor of the crostini themselves by the flavor oil you use and the seasoning you top it with before you bake them.  So keep that in my when you see the super easy directions.  And may you burn a lot fewer than I have.

                                                       
                                                           Crostini, Plain and Simple 
One 18 inch baguette French bread (about 2inch diameter)

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper, grinders preferred

 

Preheat oven to 400 ◦ F

 

Cut the baguette on a bias  into 1/8 inch slices and place on a baking sheet.  Brush each slice generously with olive oil and then salt and pepper. 

 

Bake 10 minutes and check, and then check every two minutes until they are lightly toasted but firm to the touch.  You don’t want them still soft in the center at all because they will be chewy when they cool. 

 

Like I said, you can vary the taste of these based on what you’re going to do with them.  There are all different flavors of olive oil out there, so I’ve used lemon or garlic evoo, to even a chili oil.  I’ve also sprinkled them with parmesan or shredded gouda or mozzarella cheese and paprika before serving them with soups.  Have fun and experiment with your favorite flavors!

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