Holidays to Italy are looking very unlikely, for the time being anyway. We have postponed our trip (again) to 2022, so I hope this little crostini will help bring the magic of Italy a little closer. I can't smell basil without being transported to noisy Italian food markets, full of sweet tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, olives, olive oils, peaches, grapes, pastas, cheeses, wines, the list goes on and on .........
So now back to these little crostini. The ingredients are easy to find (even if you are not in Italy), they are quick and simple to make, they taste delicious and they freeze perfectly. Grab a baguette and get slicing.
Ingredients - makes 20 approx
1 small baguette
1 mozzarella cheese ball
6-8 cherry tomatoes
1 tin anchovies
1 jar pesto (Use the remainder for spaghetti Genovese)
Cut the baguette into even sized slices. Brush both sides with olive oil.
Cut the mozzarella in half and then each half into 10 slices, slightly smaller than the bread slices - or as near as possible.
Slice the cherry tomatoes, discarding the ends, to achieve 20 slices.
Cut the anchovies into 20 even-sized pieces.
To assemble the crostini: spread each oiled bread slice with a generous amount of pesto. Place a piece of mozzarella over, followed by a piece of anchovy and finally a slice of tomato.
To eat immediately, place the crostini on a lined baking sheet and bake at 190c for 8 minutes or until crisp on the bottom and piping hot.
To freeze: Put the crostini on a lined baking tin and freeze. Store them in an airtight container when they have frozen solid. Bake from frozen on a lined baking sheet at 190c for 10 minutes or until crisp on the bottom and piping hot.
Sprinkle the cooked crostini with a chiffonade of basil. (To chiffonade: place basil leaves in a pile, roll up the pile of leaves as neatly as possible and then, holding the roll, cut thin slices across.)
Alternatively, increase the size of everything for a quick and delicious lunch.