FOR STARTERS

Whether you’re serv­ing ap­pe­tiz­ers be­fore din­ner or small bites for a ca­sual cock­tail party, these de­lec­ta­ble vari­a­tions on cros­tini of­fer a great way to high­light sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents.

Food & Drink - - TRENDS - • BY ERIC VEL­LEND PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY DAR­REN KEM­PER

FROM BITE-SIZE CANAPÉS to small open-face sand­wiches, it’s hard to think of a more de­pend­able ap­pe­tizer than cros­tini. We’ve got a su­perb se­lec­tion of “lit­tle toasts” to cover all your en­ter­tain­ing needs this sum­mer.

Now that farm­ers’ mar­kets are gain­ing mo­men­tum, there is sea­sonal pro­duce for top­ping baguette slices, in­clud­ing shaved as­para­gus and crunchy pine nuts with home­made mas­car­pone, or the clas­sic combo of crushed sweet peas and suc­cu­lent seared scal­lops. High­light­ing the cros­tini’s un­par­al­leled ver­sa­til­ity, we of­fer easy vari­a­tions within a num­ber of recipes. For pan con to­mate, Spain’s an­swer to br­uschetta, there is a trio of top­ping op­tions: crisp ba­con and arugula; salted an­chovies and basil; or shav­ings of nutty Manchego. En­joy Mor­tadella Cros­tini sim­ply draped with a thin slice of raw fen­nel, or try more am­bi­tious adorn­ments of pis­ta­chio pesto and ar­ti­chokes.

We’ve even ven­tured out of the bread­box with grilled naan, whipped eg­g­plant, spiceroasted chick­peas and ci­lantro. Whether you make one recipe or try them all, ex­pe­ri­ence why cros­tini are toasts with the most.

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