Crostini, meaning "little crusts," usually have more complex toppings, which can be anything from a cooked vegetable to liver pâté to cheese spreads.
The most important ingredient for bruschetta and crostini is the bread. It should be crusty and chewy and firm enough so that it will not collapse under the weight of the topping. The bread is typically toasted under a broiler, on a grill, or on top of the stove in a grill pan or tostapane, a thin, perforated metal sheet topped with a rack for making toast. The device is sold in many Italian kitchenware stores. The bread quickly browns on the surface, yet the inside of the slice stays soft and does not dry out as it would if toasted in an electric toaster. Day-old bread is fine and sometimes preferable if the bread is not as chewy as it should be.
Crostini and bruschetta taste best when they are freshly made, though many of the toppings can be made ahead and kept warm, then applied to the bread just before serving.
Many other recipes in this book can be used to top crostini, such as caponata (Antipasti: Sweet-and- Sour Eggplant), peperonata (Vegetables: Sweet Peppers with Tomatoes and Onions), or Antipasti: Mushroom Pâté.
From "1,000 Italian Recipes." Copyright 2004 by Michele Scicolone. Used with permission of the publisher, Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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