I have a confession to make. I love flying and I love airplane food. My thinking is this: You’re going to fly me from San Francisco to New York in a little over six hours, and feed me too? What’s not to love?! There’s something about flying that make me ravenous, and in fact, the food is the first thing I think about when I book a flight. And not in the “ugh! airplane food” disdainful tone, but more like the “I wonder what they’re going to serve!” anticipatory tone. Chicken or pasta? Yes, please!
Yes, I love the serving trays with their tiny compartments. There’s nothing that makes me happier than covering each bite of that single hard roll with spreadable butter. I love the hard cheeses, the tiny salads and the saturated entrées. And the one bite biscotti? Awesome! The only time in my life when I eat a single serving of anything is when I’m 35,000 feet up, so for that alone the airlines deserve my appreciation.
On a recent flight overseas, the usual bread was replaced by two small pear and goat cheese crostinis. I devoured them and wished for more, but since I was restricted by the single serving rule, I could do nothing but eye my seatmate’s uneaten portion. I seriously considered asking her to gift them to me. But I didn’t. What I did do was promise myself I would duplicate them as soon as I got home; which I also didn’t do. I actually forgot about them until I was about to board a flight to attend a girlfriend’s baby shower. The theme? “A Life in Miniature”. My gift? The nursery swivel glider for mom and baby, and miniature (flight inspired) canapés for the party.
And in case you’re wondering, I had the penne with pesto on that flight. And it was delicious.
- Crostini bread
- 1 loaf good, crusty bread (baguette), sliced as thinly as possible
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350° F
Brush the bread on both sides with the olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until crusty and brown, about 12 to 15 minutes (less if you want the bread softer). Serve hot, warm, or room temperature.
- 45 toasted slices of baguette (15 per flavor)
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese
Keep in mind that this is for 3 separate types of crostini
- 1/2 pint fresh blueberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- Fresh apricots, sliced in thin rounds
- Raw almonds
- Ground cumin
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- Fresh strawberries, sliced thinly
- Balsamic syrup
Preheat oven to 350° F
Spread one tablespoon of the ricotta over each crostini
Sprinkle one tablespoon of sugar to every 1/2 pint of fresh blueberries. Roast for 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Spoon roasted blueberries and a bit of blueberry sauce over the crostini. Drizzle lightly with olive oil.
Almond Spice Crostini:
Toast almonds in hot pan with a dash of ground cumin, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger. Toast until almonds are completely covered, and are golden brown. Chop roughly. Top crostini with one slice of fresh apricot, then cover with a sprinkle of chopped almonds
Strawberry Balsamic Crostini:
Top crostini with a few slices of fresh strawberries. Drizzle with balsamic syrup.
Don't let the idea of sweet crostini put you off. The slight saltiness of the ricotta along with the crisp bread balances this out. It also makes for a great partner to champagne!
Also, note that for hors d'oeuvres you generally want to count on 10 pieces per person. These are meant to be small, bite sized goodies.
This makes four different crostini.
1 cup Ricotta cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt (sea salt and kosher salt)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 25 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 10 Fresh basil leaves, cut into fine julienne strips
- 2 teaspoons Balsamic vinegar
- 2 radishes, sliced very thinly
- 1 avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3 stems of cilantro, chopped
- 4 Brussels sprouts, shaved in very thin strips
- 1 lemon juiced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 eggs, hard boiled
- 2 green onions, green portion only, sliced thinly
Spread one tablespoon of the ricotta over each crostini (these ingredients will make about 15 of each flavor) then top with any of the options listed below, or mix it up!
Top each slice of toasted bread with 3 halved cherry tomatoes (mix up the colors if you can). Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper, followed by julienned basil leaves.
In a large bowl place the half avocado and lime juice, mash with a fork. Add the salt, cumin, and cayenne and stir. Then, add in the cilantro and garlic and mix until well distributed. First top the crostini with sliced radishes. Add a dollop of the avocado mixture making sure you can see the radish from under the avocado mixture. Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add shaved brussels sprouts, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, 8 to 10 minutes. Do not allow brussels sprouts to brown. Take off the heat, add lemon juice and toss to coat. Bring to room temperature. Top crostini with a small portion of sauteed brussels sprouts. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Slice hard boiled eggs into 1/4 inch thick rounds. Top crostini with one slice of egg and sliced green onions, and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper.