Food

Three Kinds of Crostini

Sweet and Savory Italian Crostini

Today, we’re happy to continue our month of simple appetizers with this trio of delicious crostini from our friend Skye McAlpine’s new cookbook, A Table in Venice. Skye actually grew up there, and loves eating these small snacks with friends, as a way to tide everyone over until dinner. Easy to make and even easier to devour, they’re an instant crowd-pleaser. Here’s how to make them…

Three Kinds of Crostini
From Skye McAlpine’s A Table in Venice
Serves 4-6

Crostini are nothing more than rough slices of crusty bread, usually baguette, topped with whatever you fancy. They’re probably the most popular kind of cicheti [or small snacks], and you will see them piled high on the countertop at every Venetian bacaro. This is not really a matter of cooking — more just simple assembling a few choice ingredients, whatever is in season or in the larder. Here are a few of my favorite flavor combinations…

Crostini with Ricotta, Honey and Figs
Crostini con fichi, ricotta e miele

You’ll need:

1 small loaf of crusty white bread, such as baguette or ciabatta
1/2 cup ricotta
8 fresh figs, halved
2 tablespoons good-quality thin honey
A generous pinch of Maldon or kosher salt

Cut the bread into thick, rough slices and top with a generous chunk of ricotta. Arrange the figs over the cheese. You can stem and peel the figs if you prefer, though I am partial to the rich hues and texture of the skins [it’s all edible], so I don’t usually bother. Drizzle liberally with the honey and sprinkle with salt just before serving.

Crostini with Mortadella and Pistachios
Crostini con mortadella e pistachio

You’ll need:

1 small loaf of crusty white bread, such as baguette or ciabatta
4 oz thinly sliced mortadella
A handful of pistachio nuts, roughly chopped

Cut the bread into thick, rough chunks. Arrange a couple slices of mortadella on the bread, then sprinkle the pistachios over the meat.

Crostini with Burrata and Pomegranate
Crostini con burrata e melograno

You’ll need:

1 small loaf of crusty white bread, such as baguette or ciabatta
1 burrata cheese
1 pomegranate
1 tbsp olive oil
A generous pinch of Maldon or kosher salt

Cut the bread into thick, rough slices. Tear open the burrata and spoon the creamy middle onto the bread. Roughly roll the pomegranate around on a hard surface to loosen its seeds. Score around the middle of the fruit with a sharp knife, then tear it open with your hands. Hold one half over a bowl and tap forcefully with a wooden spoon, squeezing a little to remove the seeds. Use a teaspoon, if need be, to scoop the rest of the seeds out. Repeat with the remaining half. Sprinkle the ruby-red seeds over the cheese, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt.

Skye-McAlpine-Crostini

Skye also told us an insider tip for going to Venice restaurants: “Instead of choosing a dish from the menu, ask your server what he or she thinks you should eat. They’ll often have a whole different set of dishes that aren’t on the menu that they’ll give to people who ask. Maybe they have some perfect asparagus, but not enough for every guest; they’ll make that for you. Many Venetian restaurants are almost like an extension of a home kitchen.”

Thank you so much, Skye! Your new cookbook is beautiful.

P.S. More delicious recipes, including peach and tomato panzanella and monochromatic fruit salad.

(Reprinted from A Table in Venice: Recipes From My Home. Copyright © 2018 by Skye McAlpine. Photographs copyright © 2018 by Skye McAlpine. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. Thanks to Franny Eremin for helping with this series.)

  1. diana says...

    joanna – i would love a post about ‘a week in the life’ of your family’s meals. do you meal plan? eat out? order in? meal prep?
    would love your insight on how you tackle cooking/meal planning whilst working full time and having 2 kids. trying to figure out what to eat (since i’m not much of a cook) has been the hardest part of motherhood!
    thanks so much! xo

    • Sasha says...

      I love this post idea as well, always looking for clever tips and ideas

  2. Lauren says...

    I met Skye in London recently at a book signing. It’s a great book with good text and photos of Venice.

  3. june2 says...

    I love to sub avocado for cheese – even though I love good ricotta, my body does not so avo has become my go-to. I smear a dab of sweet white miso first, add avo slices, drizzle with toasted sesame oil, add a splash of tamari, then sprinkle both furikake and a pinch of cayenne. This is my go-to snack morning, noon and night!

    • Meghan says...

      This sounds so good!

  4. Kimberly says...

    But remember the crostini you guys posted on here before with the toasted brie, red grapes, and honey? Oh my gosh, it was so good. Even on my dumb gluten free bread.

  5. Rue says...

    I think these will make great picnic snack too!
    I would love to see easy breezy picnic ideas post :)

    • Rue says...

      And oh Onion jam makes really yum crostini topping :)

  6. I was at your talk with Skye yesterday so nice to see a little follow up here… since I couldn’t really hear much yesterday. These all sound soooo good, especially the ricotta and fig combo since figs are my JAM.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much, angie! xoxo

  7. Laura C. says...

    They sound great! I’m going to make the first one this Summer, in August when it’ll be fig season!
    I have to say, sometimes I get upset when I come across a bunch of lovely recipes and they all ask for out-of-season ingredients. Like, right now, figs and pomegranate. But the idea is really inspiring and sounds delicious, but I have to wait until their season!

  8. Denise says...

    What is mortadella? Is it a mushroom or a cheese? O wait – it’s meat?! It’s fancy baloney! Obviously too fancy for me. I do love the ricotta, fig, and honey though. Delicious!

    • Christine says...

      It’s a kind of Italian bologna. It has small white spots of fat and bits of pistachio in it. It’s much nicer that this description sounds!

  9. Oh wow, those look delicious! I can’t wait to serve them at our next dinner party! xAllie

  10. Sara says...

    Sounds so good! What is considered “good quality thin honey”? I’m assuming the honey in my cute little bear isn’t going to do the trick? Love this food series!

    • DIANA says...

      Hahahaha, it’s so hard to be gentle when squeezing the cheap, thick honey out of the cute little bear.

    • Lori says...

      I’m curious about this too. Can someone provide a brand for thin honey? I’d love to try the first recipe!

    • nadine says...

      it’s hard to beat the cuteness of little bear honey jar, but maybe try checking a local farmer’s market, if there is one in your area.. I usually found there the widest range. The texture and colour can change a lot depending on the kind of flowers (wildflower are usually thin and would be my easy go for the recipe or another pick could be orange blossom, otherwise acacia and chestnut are very thin but a bit bitter, eucalyptus is great as a spread or in an herbal tea..). oh and recently I discovered that the whipped honey! It’s creamy and whitish, is delicious on toast as a spread. I do love honey :)

    • Anita says...

      Curious about this too. For quality honey I think getting something local from the farmer’s market is the best bet, as a general rule. For drizzling, perhaps warm it gently?

    • Lilly says...

      I dunk my cheap bear in some warm water for a bit to warm him up and thin out the honey when I have to? It sometimes helps! I also kind of want to try this with a bit of the really good thin maple syrup I have from a friend, I bet it would be different but delicious. (How to spot the Canadian, eh?)