Good ideas strike to me when I am about to go to sleep, ideas hovering through my mind so that when I wake up the next day I have my to do list ready. When its about food good ideas strike when bits of different ingredients are kept in the fridge and I have a sudden urge to finish it all. The first idea that clicks in my mind when different vegetables are stocked is crostinis. I love them, period!
I love the whole idea of having a crostini station – sweet and savory crostinis, different experimental toppings, a glass of wine and loads of chitter chatter with family and friends. Its easy to eat and then its definitely delicious. So as my in laws came over to celebrate my little one’s first birthday I was planning a long, lingering brunch menu which definitely had crostini in it. The bright and fresh veggies, the toast slathered with cheese and herbs was a complete winner during the brunch. They thoroughly enjoyed it. The sweetness from the caramelized onions with a hint of balsamic vinegar, the bold smokiness form the roasted peppers and the crunch from the baby corn all complimented well to create a wonderful brunch dish. All you need is an extra step to experiment with different ingredients and then something spectacular will be made in your kitchen.
INGREDIENTS: (For 4 people)
- 1 medium red bell pepper
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 15 pieces baby corn , boiled and halved lengthwise
- 1/4 cup sliced black olives
- 1 large tomato, thinly sliced, lengthwise
- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 2 1/2 tsp dried mint
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp chili flakes
- 2 tsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp crushed garlic (optional)
- salt, to taste
- freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
- 1 french baguette loaf
- In saucepan, heat half butter. Once heated add in the thinly sliced onions and sauté until they turn light golden.
- Add the sugar and balsamic vinegar and sauté for a couple of minutes on medium heat until sugar is dissolved and onion is brownish (not burnt) in color.
- Take it off the heat and keep it aside.
- Take the peppers, brush it with olive oil and put it on a naked flame, medium heat until each side is black.
- Take it off the heat and dip it in a bowl with cold water.
- After 5-10 minutes, take off the skin, cut it length wise into thin slices. Remove the seeds.
- In another saucepan, heat olive oil. Add chili flakes and sauté for 30 seconds. Add garlic and sauté for a minute.
- Add baby corn, roasted pepper, olives, tomato and caramelised onion and mix well.
- Add salt, basil, oregano and freshly crushed black pepper and mix well.
- Take a griddle pan, put some butter on it on medium heat and toast the thin slices of baguette or half bread slices until its golden brown and crisp.
- Meanwhile take cream cheese in a bowl and mix it with dried mint and keep aside.
- Once the baguette is done, take it off the heat, slather it with generous amount of cream cheese mixture.
- Top it with a generous amount of veggie mixture. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or parmesan shaving or fresh boccocini in the side.
- You can use multigrain bread in case you dont find a french baguette.
- You can use ricotta cheese with mint for the base of the crostini.
- Toast the bread/ baguette slices in a toaster in case you don’t have a griddle pan.
- Add roasted capsicum for more color.
Enjoy your day!