These “little toasts” can be topped with anything, and are fun for little fingers to assemble (plus letting kids top their own is sure to cut down on complaints!). Crostini are the perfect size for kids, who can nibble them in a few bites, but they’re a yummy, easy option for everyone in the family. If you’re bringing them to a party, pack the crostini and toppings separately, then assemble them there to keep the crostini crisp.
1 large garlic clove, crushed
olive or canola oil
soft cheese (goat cheese, Boursin, cream cheese, etc.)
roasted red peppers
thinly sliced prosciutto
thinly sliced fresh or dried figs
thinly sliced apples or pears
thin curls of asiago, aged Gouda or Parmesan (use a vegetable peeler)
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Place the garlic in a ramekin, cover it with oil and set aside while you slice the baguette on a slight diagonal about 1/2-in. thick.
3. Lay the slices out on a baking sheet and brush each lightly with the garlicky oil, on one or both sides. Bake for 5 minutes, or until a pale golden colour.
4. Top crostini with any combination of toppings; spreading the toasts with soft cheese first will help other toppings to stay put. If you want melty cheese as the base, spread soft goat cheese, cream cheese or Boursin on toasts, top with grated or thinly sliced cheddar, asiago, Gouda or Parmesan and return to the oven for 5 minutes, until the cheese melts. Then add toppings.
Makes about 2 dozen crostini.
Originally published in ParentsCanada magazine, December 2012.