Tomato Cheese CrostiniEstimated Cost:  $15.00

Prep Time:  15 minutes

Broiling Time:  3 minutes

Yields:  30 crostini

Crostini (meaning “little toasts” in Italian) are an Italian appetizer consisting of small slices of grilled or toasted bread and toppings. The toppings may include a variety of different cheeses, meats, and vegetables, or may be presented more simply with a brush of olive oil and herbs or a sauce. Crostini are typically made using French or Italian baguettes and are often served with wine.

Along with bruschetta, crostini are thought to originate in medieval times when it was typical for Italian peasants to eat their meals on slices of bread instead of using plates.

Served to your guests as an appetizer, along with a nice bottle of wine, or as a side dish to a wonderful Italian main dish, Tomato Cheese Crostini are a guaranteed culinary homerun!

4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
ground black pepper to taste
1 long French bread baguette
2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

1. Preheat oven to broil and position oven rack 6 inches from broiling element.

2. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, Parmesan cheese, Gruyère cheese, garlic, oregano, and pepper; stir well.

3. Slice bread into 30 (1/4-inch) slices. Arrange on baking sheet and lightly brush tops with olive oil. Broil for about 1 minute or until light golden.

4. Spread each bread slice with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the cheese mixture and return to oven. Broil until cheese begins to melt and brown.

5. Top each slice with two tomato pieces. Serve immediately.

Mike’s comments:

Gruyère cheese is not always easy to find. Usually available in the imported cheese sections of large supermarkets and specialty delis. It’s also on the expensive side. You can substitute shredded Swiss cheese, but this will change the flavor considerably.

Original recipe inspiration: Nestlé Kitchens