You remember my birthday party spread? Delicious spring ingredients and lots of finger foods!
I am mildly obsessed with crostini. You’ve seen my fall fave, Pomegranate, Butternut Squash Crostini, and I’m here today to share some delightful spring combinations! This isn’t an exact recipe, but rather a guideline on a great, easy, and colorful way to make a huge variety of crostini.
For my party, I started with a few basic crostini ingredients: baguettes and spreads. I knew I was going have quite a few people over, so I thinly sliced two baguettes and toasted the little pieces in the oven at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 5-7 minutes. I wanted them to be golden, but not browned at all and just perfectly crunchy. While they were toasting, I made my spreads. Since I was doing many different flavor variations on the toppings, my spreads were basic. I used about 12 ounces of ricotta per baguette, mixing it with a bit of cream so it would spread more smoothly. I then took half of the ricotta-cream mixture and microplaned in the rind of one lemon as well as the juice. You could easily add some chopped fresh herbs at this stage too. After that it was all the toppings! The night before I’d roasted my veggies for about 10-15 minutes with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil, leaving the vegetable-y taste: cherry tomatoes, thin slivers of zucchini and carrot, red bell pepper. I whipped up a little caramelized onion: letting it sizzle gently on the stove for just under and hour before adding a bit of water and some balsamic vinegar. I also boiled some asparagus for about 5 minutes until it was just cooked, but still had a bit of a crunch. Other toppings I used included toasted almond slivers, walnuts, and pinenuts, avocado, and cucumber. After that, it was just a little more flavor with herbs: fresh mint, basil, and dill thinly sliced and sprinkled on top. On some crostini I gently drizzled a little honey to bring out a bit of sweet flavor.
Simple right? And oh so delicious. It was a lot of toppings, but the prep was simple and I did most of the cooking the night before. The day of, I took all the veggies out of the refrigerator and brought them to room temperature before putting all the crostini together. It was quick and painless and abso-freaking-lutely gorgeous!
Here are some of my favorite flavor combinations:
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Asparagus, Toasted Almonds, Dill
Ricotta Spread, Basil, Honey
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Avocado, Dill
Ricotta Spread, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Basil
Ricotta Spread, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Roasted Bell Pepper
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Roasted Carrot, Mint
Ricotta Spread, Caramelized Onion, Toasted Almonds
Ricotta Spread, Walnuts, Honey
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Roasted Zucchini, Basil, Toasted Almonds,
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Roasted Zucchini, Roasted Carrot, Dill,
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Caramelized Onion, Walnuts
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Pear, Almond, Basil
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Pear, Walnut, Honey
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Basil, Pine Nuts
Lemon-Ricotta Spread, Pine Nuts, Roasted Zucchini, Dill
The best part is an hour and a half of prep with just a little bit of a whole lot of ingredients gets you a wonderful plethora of creative and colorful crostini! At my party I was able to prep some other dishes that involved more knowledge of the recipe, while putting three great helpers on crostini duty. I gave them my list of suggestions, but they enjoyed coming up with their own creative combinations, leading to a delightful, varying snack.
What’s your favorite party food? Do you like to prep a bunch of food before hand or cook everything the day of?