Are you searching for the perfect crowd-pleasing appetizer which is easy to make, lovely, and delicious? Look no further, my friends, because each humble crostino is hiding a symphony of flavor. Let’s make them!
First, you will need to make or buy some crusty Italian bread (this is the quick version):
6 cups all-purpose flour
4 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
3 Tbsp rapid rise yeast or instant yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
4 tsp sea salt
2 2/3 cup warm water
4 tbsp olive oil
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and then add the liquids (water and oil). Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form. Use your hands to help it form into a dough ball. Allow it to rest in the bowl while you dust your counter with flour. Knead the dough until it is firm (4-5 minutes), divide the dough, and then shape the dough into two long loaves. Allow them to rise until doubled. Meanwhile, heat your oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and spray the inside walls with water. If you are using a baking stone, be sure that it is in the oven prior to heating it.
Place the loaves in the oven (either on the stone or on a pan), close the oven door, and reduce the heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the loaves to bake for 20 minutes. Flip the loaves upside down and bake another 5-10 minutes or until the crust is crisp and the bread makes a satisfying hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. Set the loaves on a wire rack to cool.
To continue, you will need:
2 cups of hummus
20+ leaves of fresh basil (may use parsley or oregano instead though basil is best)
1 pound (16 ounces) of smoked salmon
1 jar of pitted kalamata olives
Now follow these steps:
Slice the bread into thin pieces and arrange them on an ungreased baking sheet.
Spray or paint them in olive oil and toast them under your broiler or grill them. Did you know that crostino means “little toast” in Italian? Aren’t they adorable?
Once they have cooled, spread on some hummus.
Carefully roll the smoked salmon layers and place them on the hummus. If you are lucky (like me), you’ll have volunteers doing all of the work so photos may be taken.
Add a kalamata olive and a basil leaf.
Arrange them on a plate or tray and prepare to be complimented. Seriously, people love crostini!