Endless possibilities created by a little piece of toast. As always, when things are simple, use the best-quality bread and other ingredients to create great flavours. The toppings can be prepared the day before or morning of, and the crostini dressed about an hour before you plan to serve. Save the drizzling until right before serving.

Crostini should be bite-sized or close to it. I like to use the small Bonjour Bakery rustic loaves, but baguettes, ciabattas or smaller diameter crusty loaves will all work.

Basic crostini

  • 1 loaf sliced slightly thicker than a pencil
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • thyme or rosemary, finely chopped (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Mix all ingredients but the bread in large mixing bowl. Brush the top of each slice with the oil mixture. Or drizzle, it doesn’t have to cover every inch. Place on a baking sheet in one layer and bake until golden, about 7 minutes. A few darker spots, even burnt bits, are OK. The crostini should have a bit of give to them — bake too long and they will be brittle and hard to eat.

If making ahead, cool before bagging or putting in a tin. Crostini keep for about a week but are at their best within a few days of baking. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Try these toppings

  • Spoon some goat cheese mixed with minced fresh herbs on to crostini. Top with thin-sliced roasted red pepper. Drizzle with a fruity extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Top crostini with a slice of Parma ham. Drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  • Beef filet with Gorgonzola cream: thin-sliced rare beef topped with a drizzle of Gorgonzola that has been mixed with a bit of mayo.
  • A slice of fresh pear with semi-soft cheese such as Camembert, or Roquefort.