Crostini Lazio

Italian in origin, crostini are 'little crusts'. In France they are called croutons, but both are little rounds or squares of bread brushed with olive oil or butter, and sometimes crushed garlic, then baked in the oven.

Makes 12, to serve 4-6

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book One

Crostini Lazio
For the crostini:
 1 small, thin French stick cut into 12 slices about 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick, or 3 slices from a thick sliced loaf, cut into quarters
 3 tablespoons olive oil
 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and crushed
 sliced loaf, cut into quarters
For the topping:
 4 oz (110 g) firm goats' cheese
 4 oz (110 g) tuna in oil – the best quality you can buy – drained, reserving 1 tablespoon of the oil
 1 tablespoon salted capers or capers in vinegar, thoroughly rinsed and drained
 1 level tablespoon finely grated Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano)
 1 dessertspoon lemon juice
To garnish:
 12 caper berries (optional)
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).

You will also need a baking tray measuring 14 x 10 inches (35 x 25.5 cm).


For the crostini, drizzle the olive oil over the baking tray, add the garlic, then, using your hands, spread the oil and garlic over the surface of the baking tray. Next, place the bread on top of the oil and turn them over so that both sides are lightly coated. Now bake them in the oven for 10-15 minutes, until crisp and crunchy, but put a timer on, as they soon overbake.

For the topping, just peel the rind off the goats' cheese using a sharp knife, then cut the cheese into four pieces. Next, place all the ingredients, including the reserved oil, into a liquidiser or food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth. If making this ahead, cover and chill in the fridge until needed, then remove it half an hour before serving and spread it on top of the crostini, topped with a caper berry (if using). Don't assemble them until the last minute, though, or the bread loses some of its crispness.

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