Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Let's Talk About Crostini (Gluten-Free, of course)

Every time I turn around on a cooking show they are making crostini, a fancyItalian word for toast. Do they not realize how easy they've got it with their french bread and baguettes? Simply slice away, drizzle with olive oil, and toast or broil. Spread with some sort of topping and...voila! Instant elegance on a plate. Humph. Just thinking of slicing into nice crusty baguettes makes me roll my eyes so far back in my head I can see my brain. Not out of anger, mind you, but out of jealousy! I may never eat that great of a bread again, but I sure can try to imitate it.

And while we're at it, let's not talk about my low-budget choices of crostini toppings. I think at the time when I made these I hadn't grocery shopped for a few days so the pickings were slim. But here is a great recipe from Smitten Kitchen for an Artichoke-Olive Spread to go on top of your crostini. It looks so yummy. Anyways, I started by making a loaf with this mix for pizza and foccacia bread from Blue Chip Bakers. I actually got a nice looking loaf out of it and since the dough is made for Italian eating, it had a nice flavor and a light texture, just like pizza dough. I sliced it when it had cooled, so it didn't crumble apart (ahem, love those gluten free flours) and drizzled it with olive oil and toasted it on both sides in my grill pan until nice and golden. And it looks like I toasted it a little bit too long, doesn't it? Never mind that, I think I'll blame that on the camera. Do as I say, not as I do, people. Then you can top the crostini with whatever you want to, like olive tapenade and vinegared tomatoes for bruschetta, hummus, cheese and veggies, or a spread made from cannellini beans and garlic sprinkled with chives. Of course I had to give the gorgonzola a try. Delish. These will be great to make in the summer when my tomato crop kicks into high gear and I'm drowning in tomatoes, don't you think? The point is, don't despair when your favorite old-days foods show up, create them yourself! It may take a few tries, but you'll be glad you didn't give up on finding a delicious substitute.
Happy eating!

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