These really easy canapés have saved the day, not only when people drop by my house unannounced but also when I fancy a quick snack myself of an evening. It is great to get creative with these, see what it is your cupboard and fridge and experiment with what works.
By Lorraine Pascale
From Lorraine's Fast, Fresh and Easy Food
For the crostini base
extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove
For the tomato, basil and mint variation
2 large ripe tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
small handful basil and mint leaves
pinch sugar (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the white bean, basil, prosciutto and rocket variation
100g/3½oz canned cannellini beans
2 slices prosciutto
small handful of wild rocket
For the goats’ cheese, fig and balsamic variation
100g/3½oz rindless soft goats’ cheese
2 fresh figs
small handful of mint leaves
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
honey, for drizzling
Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5.
Trim the ends of the baguette and cut it into diagonal slices about 2cm/1in thick. Place on a large baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake for 7-8 minutes.
For the tomato, basil and mint variation, roughly chop the tomatoes and place in a small bowl. Drizzle a little oil over, rip up the basil and mint leaves and add them along with salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Toss everything together.
For the white bean variation, put the cannellini beans in a small bowl, add a good drizzle of oil, seasoning and then mash roughly with a fork. Cut the slices of prosciutto in half.
Finally, for the goats’ cheese variation, mash the goats’ cheese with a fork in a small bowl and season, to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cut the figs into eight pieces.
Remove the crostini from the oven. They should be just crisp. Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut edge all over their tops.
Now to assemble, simply spoon the tomato mixture onto eight of the crostini.
Arrange the rocket on eight more and dollop the mashed cannellini beans on top. Lightly scrunch the prosciutto up and arrange on top of each one.
Finally, spread the goats’ cheese over the remaining eight crostini, arrange a couple of pieces of fig on top of each, scatter the mint leaves over and drizzle with a little balsamic and honey.
Arrange the crostini on a large serving platter or cake stand and serve.