[Gay Cook] The secret of these delicious appetizers is the bases called crostini – made from French or Italian toasted bread slices.

Crostini

  • 12 slices day-old Italian or French or country-style bread
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, peeled, split and slightly squashed
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil fro brushing
  • Salt

If the bread slices are large, cut them in half or into rounds with cookie cutter before broiled or barbecued until golden on both sides.
Watch closely as they brown easily. Drizzle or brush oil on one side and rub with garlic and lightly sprinkle with salt. While still warm add topping.

Tomato Bruschetta    Makes 4 to 6 servings or more

The combination of fresh tomatoes and basil is a taste made in heaven, as we enjoy this growing season with a classic appetizer. The recipe is from my cookbook –Mrs Cook’s Kitchen, Basics & Beyond.

  • 12 prepared crostini
  • 4 to 5 ripe plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) wine vinegar
  • Sprinkling os salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 8 fresh basil leaves, cut into thin slices
  • 1 oz (30 g) piece of Parmigianino Reggiano cheeses shavings or
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) freshly grated Parmesan

Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze each half to remove seeds and juice. Cut tomato pulp into small cubes and toss with vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir in basil. Top each warm crostini with spoonful of tomato mixture. Use a vegetable peeler to shave a few slices or Parmigiano-Reggiano or sprinkle Parmesan over each bruschetta. Serve within 10 minutes.

Gorgonzola Bruschetta    Makes 4 to 6 servings

Gorgonzola is on Italy’s masterpieces, is a robust blue-veined cheese that makes this bruschetta deliciously rich

  • 12 prepared crostini
  • 4 oz (120g) Gorgonzola cheese (room-temperature)
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp (1 ml) freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) chopped fresh rosemary needles
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) rosemary needles for garnish

In small bowl, mash cheese with a fork and stir in oil, pepper and rosemary. Place a mound on each crositini and garnish with rosemary needles.