3 Crostone Recipes: Easy, Sophisticated, Italian Appetizers

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

The word “crostone” is derived from the Italian “crostino,” which means “little crusts” (of bread). The bread can either be toasted or grilled, and can be topped with a variety of toppings like meats, cheeses, and veggies. This dish is usually served as an appetizer or as a snacks. 

Crostone is just simply the larger form of crostino. Instead of using small-bite sized pieces, crostone uses bigger pieces of bread as a vehicle for the toppings. 

Why I Love Crostone

Crostone is my go-to recipe whenever guests visit my house on short notice. Depending on the toppings, I can make it look as fancy and sophisticated as possible, without spending too much time in the kitchen.

Credit: italiadiscovery.it

It looks impressive enough to satisfy even the most discerning of connoisseurs, yet still be accessible enough that most people wouldn’t be intimidated by it or find it too high-brow (it’s basically just toast with toppings, to put it simply). 

What is crostone?” you might ask. Well, here’s the answer. These are three of my favorite crostone recipes that you can use to impress your guests with:

Ratatouille and Basil Pesto Crostone

For the Ratatouille

  • credit: lortodellupo.com

    One small summer squash, cut into half-inch slices

  • One small zucchini, cut into half-inch slices
  • Two eggplants, cut into half-inch slices
  • Two tomatoes, cored and cut into half-inch slices
  • One cored and seeded green bell pepper, cut into one-inch 
    pieces
  • One cored and seeded red bell pepper, cut into one-inch pieces
  • Four cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
  • One onion, cut into half-inch slices
  • Two teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • Two teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  • Fine sea salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon juice, to taste

For the Basil Pesto

  • One cup chopped fresh basil
  • One cup chopped mint leaves
  • Half cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • One cup of skinned and toasted hazelnuts
  • One cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Two garlic cloves, minced
  • One teaspoon lemon juice
  • Zest from one large lemon, finely grated
  • Fine sea salt, to taste

For the Vinaigrette

  • Two tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Quarter cup extra virgin olive oil

For the Crostone

  • Ciabatta loaf bread, cut into one-inch slices

1. In a food processor, chop all of the pesto ingredients save for the olive oil. After the ingredients have been finely chopped, keep the machine running, and slowly pour in the olive oil. Process until desired consistency is obtained.

2. Mix the balsamic vinegar and olive oil together for the vinaigrette. 

3. Salt the eggplants generously and let them sweat for about an hour. Rinse the excess salt under running cold water.

4. In a large bowl, mix the vegetables with the vinaigrette and toss well. 

5. Spray two baking sheets with vegetable oil. Put the veggies on the sheets and roast in an oven pre-heated to 375 degress Fahrenheit for about thirty minutes or until their edges start to caramelize. Be careful not to overcook the vegetables for too long or they will dry out. 

5. Toss the ratatouille with the fresh herbs and season to taste with the lemon juice, salt and pepper. 

6. Toast the ciabatta loaf slices until lightly brown. Generously slather one side of the toast with pesto and pile a couple tablespoons of ratatouille on top.

Easy Mushroom Crostone

  • Ciabatta loaf (or any other kind of crusty Italian bread), sliced
  • Four cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • One-third cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • Four ounces of any semi-soft Italian cheese (preferably Taleggio or Fontina, Robiola, or Limburger)
  • One pound of fresh wild mushrooms (e.g. shiitake, oyster, chantarelle, etcetera), cleaned and sliced into small pieces
  • Chopped parsley, two tablespoons
  • Salt to taste

1. In a skillet, heat half of the olive oil on high heat. Fry the mushrooms with the garlic and add salt. Saute for about three minutes or until the mushrooms soften. Add the parsley and season with more salt, if needed.

2. Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil. Top with a slice of cheese and put under a broiler until cheese melts. 

3. Top the bread slices with the mushrooms and serve. 

Fried Eggs and Bacon Crostone

  • Ciabatta loaf bread, four slices
  • Two garlic cloves, minced
  • Eight thick bacon slices
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Quarter cup olive oil
  • Four large eggs
  • Grated Parmesan

1. Fry the bacon in a skillet until crispy. Afterwards, fry the eggs. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. 

2. Brush bread with olive oil and broil or grill until lightly toasted. 

3. Lay two slices of bacon on each slice of bread, and top with an egg and a little bit of grated Parmesan.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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