If you’re looking for a fun, make-ahead appetizer spread, you’ll love my crostini recipe with fun topping ideas! Grill up some bread, make a bunch of mix and match spreads/add-ons, and then relax to enjoy your guests.
As spring continues with summer coming soon, I’ve been thinking about having friends over out on my deck and coming up with ideas on what I can make for them.
My mind goes to different recipes and themes based on my mood and what I see at the market, but it always comes down to a few simple rules, which you can see in today’s post!
What do you need?
- Bread – Specifically a long, thin crusty loaf like a baguette, plus some salt and olive oil.
- Goat Cheese Spread – Goat cheese, milk, herbs, and garlic.
- Tapenade – Olives, capers, anchovies, basil.
- Caprese – Sun-dried tomatoes, mozzarella, basil.
How to make this
Start making crostini by thinly slicing some bread. Then toast it up with olive oil and salt until browned. Finish with toppings of your choice.
First you’re going to need a long, crusty dinner bread. Then slice it up – sometimes I do very thin slices (less than 1/4 inch), other times thicker (more like 1/2 inch), brush the bread with oil, and sprinkle with salt.
Bake the slices for 6-10 minutes, depending on thickness, turning after 5 minutes if you’re not using a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Goat Cheese Spread
This is an excellent spread for crudites as well as bread! Whip together goat cheese with olive oil, milk, garlic, and herbs. BOOM. Done. Keep it in the fridge until you are ready to serve. (If you want it soft, take it out ~30 minutes ahead.) Slice up some radishes for a nice flavor combo.
Roughly chop black and green olives, with finely chopped basil capers, onions, and garlic. Add some anchovy, olive oil, and lemon juice. Then into the fridge it goes.
Tip: Both spreads can be made a day ahead!
Easiest yet! Just lay out pearl sized mozzarella balls with sun-dried tomatoes (cherry tomatoes are my favorite) and basil leaves. Have some balsamic available for drizzling.
If you try my recipe for Crostini and Topping Ideas, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Stay Safe, Annemarie
Crostini + 3 Topping Ideas
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced
- olive oil and kosher salt
Goat Cheese Spread
- 8 oz goat cheese
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup milk and more if needed
- 1-2 cloves garlic grated
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2-3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, and/or chives
- thinly sliced radishes
- 1 cup pitted kalamata olives
- 1 cup pitted green olives
- 3 tbsp capers
- 2 tbsp minced white onion
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1-2 tsp anchovy paste
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 cup sundried tomatoes
- 1 cup pearl sized fresh mozzarella
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
- Heat oven to 400F.
- Brush baguette slices with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with salt. Spread out slices on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the slices and bake for 2-5 minutes more. (Depending on bread thickness - keep an eye on them and take them out once they are brown enough for you.) Transfer to a serving platter or bowl.
Goat Cheese Spread
- In a bowl combine the goat cheese, olive oil, and milk. Using a hand mixer and beat until smooth and light. (Or use a standing mixer and the whisk attachment.)
- Mix in 1 clove grated garlic, salt, and fresh herbs. Taste and add more garlic or salt as needed.
- Set out spread with sliced radishes.
- Roughly chop olives and capers. Mix together with onion, garlic, basil, and anchovy.
- Whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice. Pour into the bowl with the olive mixture and toss. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Set out a wide bowl or small platter. Mound up the mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, and basil in the bowl so people can scoop out what they want.
- Serve with a bottle of balsamic for drizzling over the top.
- Make Ahead: Each topping can be made/organized up to a day ahead and the bread can be made several hours ahead.
- Radishes: The radishes I show in the photos are watermelon radishes, named for their beautiful colors. Any type of radish you have will work. Or you can switch it up and use baby peas, cucumbers, spring onions, etc.