Crostini

I’m always finding things to put on toasty-crisp bread, especially for lunch.  As a mostly-vegan food fan, I locate the best ingredients, prepare them to show off their flavors and textures, and when I don’t know what else to do with those preparations, I put them on bread and pour a glass of wine.

Last week was a good example.  One lunch was a soup, made with our roasted vegetable stock, Cavolo Nero, Rice, and Corona Beans.  It was accompanied by toasted slices of my whole grain rye bread, spread with Kite Hill almond-based cream cheese with chives and topped with thinly-sliced smoked salmon.   It also gave me the opportunity to put caper leaves from Santorini on top of each.

soup and crostiniBut it raised an important question in my mind: what’s the difference between Crostini and Bruschetta?  While I doubt you have lost any sleep over that question, it intrigued me.  A bit of research led me to conclude that the definitions are not that precise.  It seems that Bruschetta are made with thick slices of a coarse country bread, grilled (at best over a wood fine), then rubbed with garlic clove, drizzled with olive oil, and consumed as is — or perhaps with a topping like chopped tomatoes, or bean purée with greens, etc.  The focus is mostly about the bread, whereas Crostini are more about the toppings.  Also crostini are usually made with a fine grain bread, more typically white flour, and cut thin — like a diagonal slice of a baguette.  They, too, are crisp, usually done in the oven or a toaster.

smoked salmon, almond cheese crostiniSo the photo above seems on the boundary; it is whole-grain bread, but it is sliced thinly, not grilled but toasted, and topped with three items on a large slice.  For purposes of this post, I choose to say “Crostini”.

Later in the week we had an example more typical of that name, red pepper and cheese crostini.

I roasted a very good-quality Spanish red pepper in the oven, then peeled and sliced it. Then I sautéed the peppers in olive oil for about 15 minutes, and then finished them with salt, pepper and Spanish sherry vinegar.

I cut a few pieces of Tuscan Pane and toasted them, added a slice of sheep’s milk Cacio de Roma (not vegan that day), and finished with peppers and another caper leaf.  The wine of choice was a 2009 Ca’ Lojera Lugana, a lovely match.

sweet peppers and cheese crostini

We’ll do bruschetta when it warms up a little for comfortable grilling.

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