Happy Wednesday! I know everyone is back to school and the weather is actually getting colder but I’m not quite ready to give up summer yet. This year didn’t feel quite long enough at all! One of my favorite summer eats is crostini. There are so many different combinations to put on a toasted slice of bread, but this happens to be one of my favorites. Though it’s perfectly enjoyed at any time of the year, I like it best when it’s hot out and with a glass of bubbly in hand! I’m most definitely going to make the most of these while the weather lasts, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some trees already changing their colors!
Pour a glass of champs or prosecco and enjoy the creaminess of white beans and salty proscuitto!
White Bean and Prosciutto Crostini
- 1 baguette or Italian loaf sliced into 1/2 in slices
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp shallot, finely chopped
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp capers
- 2 tsp basil, freshly chopped
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 can (15oz) cannellini beans, drained
- 6 oz slices proscuitto
- basil chiffonade to garnish
Preheat the oven to the grill at 550°F. Lightly brush the baguette slices on both sides with olive oil. Place under the grill for a couple minutes on each side until lightly browned and crispy.
In a medium bowl, combine the olive oil, shallots, red wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, capers, basil, salt and pepper. Using a small whisk to combine. Add the cannellini beans and using a large spoon, toss all the ingredients together.
Place a slice of prosciutto on each crostini and top with a spoonful of the white beans. Garnish with basil and eat immediately. Makes 15-20.
It’s actually a bright winter day here with no snow and quite a lot of sunshine. Though the sun makes me feel better, I’m so dreaming of the warm days of summer which at this point seem so so far away. We’re dreaming of parks and green grass and picnics in the sun. I’m dying to get out run around with the little one now that she is running around herself. I’m also craving all the summer fruits and veggies. I’m kinda getting bored of lackluster berries and endless pears. Anyone else? Corn is one of my favorites and I’ve been cheating a little in the past months by making the most of the frozen variety. Miura adores corn in any form especially on the cob so it’s always on offer in this household. Since we have like five more months of this dreadful cold then we’ll have to make do with yummy food that tastes of summer! Who doesn’t need a little bit of beautiful yellow to brighten up their day?
The curry leaves in this recipe give it such a unique flavor and they work surprisingly well with the peanuts and coconut. I’ve been in love with this filling for quite awhile now but have only recently started making tartlets with it! The fresh and super flavorful filling goes perfect with the crunchy filo pastry making this an easy option for appetizers.
Curried Corn Tartlets
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp curry leaves, julienned
- 1 cup cooked and small diced waxy potatoes
- 1/4 cup peanuts, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp finely grated dried coconut, plus extra for garnish
- 14 sheets pre-packaged filo pastry
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
Defrost the filo pastry according to package directions.
Heat a pan to medium heat and add olive oil. Heat until the oil is quite hot and then add the sesame seeds. Stir often until light brown, about 30 seconds – 1 minute. Add in the frozen corn, salt, cayenne pepper, lemon juice and curry leaves and allow to cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
Add in the cooked potatoes, peanuts and coconut and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring often. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Meanwhile, make the filo tart shells. Lay 1 sheet of filo pastry on a cutting board. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush with butter. Layer another sheet of filo pastry on top and brush with butter. Continue to do so with a total of 7 sheets. Repeat process with the remaining 7 sheets. Cut each layered sheet into 12 3 inch squares, resulting in a total of 24 squares. Using a mini muffin tin, fit each square into the rounds making sure to get the pastry into the edges. Brush the edges with the remaining butter and place into the oven. Cook for about 7-10 minutes until just golden brown. Place on a cooling rack until cool.
When ready to serve, fill each with about a teaspoon of filling. Top with a bit of grated coconut to finish. Serve immediately as they will soften with time. Makes 24 tarts.
Summer is coming to a close but it is definitely still hot enough for garden parties and barbeques! One of the things I will miss most about summer is the abundance of vibrant fruits. I love biting into a juicy nectarine or grabbing one of these delicious bite sized apricots when running out the door. The juiciness always seems to satisfy my cravings and keeps me hydrated too!
These apricot ricotta crostinis are the easiest thing to whip up to enjoy with a glass of wine or with friends. The ricotta is so creamy and goes perfect with fragrant apricots. Though the honey adds a little touch of sweetness, the salt and pepper really balances things out!
Apricot Ricotta Crostini
- 1 Baguette, sliced into twelve 1/2 inch slices
- olive oil for brushing
- 1/2 cup ricotta
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2-3 apricots, thinly sliced
- honey to drizzle
- fresh ground salt and pepper
- basil to garnish
Preheat the oven to the grill function. Lightly brush the baguette slices on both sides with olive oil. Place under the grill for a couple minutes on each side until lightly browned and crispy.
In a small bowl combine the ricotta and zest of 1 lemon.
To assemble, spread a bit of ricotta on each of the toasted bread slices. Top with a few slices of apricot and then drizzle with a bit of honey. Grind a little bit of salt and pepper on top and garnish with the basil.
Eat immediately before they go soft! Makes 12
I love having people over to my home for drinks and often dinner and after flicking through magazines and browsing through blogs, I always have grand ideas of what new recipes to try. However, when it comes down to it, the last thing I want to do right before people come over is spend half the day in the kitchen. The evening is just not as fun when you’re exhausted and dreaming of your bed!
So I’m always excited when easy to prep recipes come about – especially appetizers. And no I’m not talking about the straight from the supermarket to oven type appetizers – though these take minimally more work. The salsa is lovely and tangy with a slight kick which goes great with all the herbs. It is the perfect accompaniment to cocktail shrimps which can be quite bland and boring. And best of all, you can make all the parts ahead of time and just assemble right before people come over! Just how I like it, quick and simple!
Cilantro Apple Salsa & Shrimp Squares
- 30 precooked cocktail shrimp
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- 1 beaten egg (optional)
- 1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and quartered
- 1 orange segmented
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 2 long red chilies, deseeded and finely minced
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 8 stalks of cilantro
- 8 stalks of mint
- salt to taste
- finely chopped cilantro to garnish
In a medium bowl, add the cocktail shrimp, lime juice, garlic, cumin and 1/4 tsp of salt and set aside to marinate for atleast 30 min.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (or according to package directions). Roll the puff pastry to about 10×12 in and cut into 2 inch squares. Score a slightly smaller square into into each one and prick the inner square with a fork to prevent it rising too much. Lightly brush with the egg wash if using and bake on a piece of parchment paper for about 7 minutes or until just golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
Meanwhile, make the salsa. Place all remaining ingredients in a blender and blend until very fine.
To assemble, place a teaspoonful of salsa on top of the puff pastry square and top with a shrimp. Garnish with a bit of cilantro sprinkled on top. Serve immediately. Makes 30.