To make sure that I have time to enjoy the party myself, I like to keep things simple. My kitchen-dining room is a good size but not large enough to seat a lot of people, so I serve finger food which can be a bit fiddly. Not so with these crostini – small pieces of toasted bread topped with something yummy - they are easy to make and can be prepared the day before. The only thing left to do on the day is put the finishing touches just before guests arrive. So with these made, a couple of plates of mince pies and some mulled wine mulling, I'm ready to party.
The base is simple to make, and I will share three of my favourite toppings in different posts. Starting with these Christmas crostini, so called as they are topped with just three ingredients that most people have at hand this time of year: gammon, cranberry sauce, and cheese.
I've used brie but Stilton also works well and, if you're serving them after Christmas, you could top them with some of the leftover turkey instead of the gammon.
To make the crostini itself I like to use those rather anaemic looking part-baked baguettes. Because they are only part baked, they do not have a very crisp crust making slicing them thinly so much easier. Once toasted they will keep for several days in an airtight container in a cool place.
- 1 part-baked baguette thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp unrefined rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
- chunks of cooked gammon or ham
- brie or stilton
- cranberry sauce
- Preheat the oven to 190°C(180°C fan)/375°F/gas mark 5. Brush a little oil onto the bread slices and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven until crisp and golden, about 10 – 12 minutes.
- Allow to cool and store in an airtight container until required.
- Top the crostini with a little gammon, cheese and cranberry sauce.
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Or be adventurous and add your own crostini topping. I would love to hear what you used.