July 21, 2011

Tapenade Crostini with Prosciutto

What You'll Need:
1/2 cup - Artichoke Hearts, quartered
1/2 cup - Kalamata Olives, pitted
1/2 cup - Green & Black Olives, mixed
1/2 cup - Sun-dried Tomatoes, with oil from jar (about 1/4 cup)
2 - Roasted Red Peppers
2 - Anchovy Filets
2 - Italian Long Hots, chopped
4 - Pepperoncinis, chopped
1/4 cup - Capers
Garlic, chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese
1 - Small Lemon
1 loaf - Crusty Italian Bread, sliced
1/2 lb. - Prosciutto di Parma

First thing's first, don't be alarmed by the amount of ingredients listed here! It looks like a lot, and it is, however, your best bet is to take yourself directly to the deli section of your local supermarket and load up at the Olive Bar.  You can get about 3 or 4 pints of an array of the ingredients above, which is what I did the first time I made this dish.  And, the good thing about cooking, as opposed to baking, is that you can leave out whichever ingredients you don't like or can't find, and you can make this delicious appetizer to your own likes and tastes!  Also, there is absolutely no actual "cooking" involved in this dish, it's mostly "assembling", so if you are looking for something really quick to take to your next party, this is it!

Start by arranging the sliced bread on a baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil, and sprinkle with dried parsley.  Put the bread into a 400-degree oven, and bake until golden brown.  Keep an eye on it, it'll burn fast, if you let it!!

Next, make sure all of the ingredients are chopped to an appropriate size to fit into a food processor. 

Using a mixture of the first 10 ingredients, drop all of them down into a large food processor.  Start to pulse, and stream in about 3 tablespoons of olive oil while the processor is going.  Pulse until the ingredients are minced finely.  

Transfer the minced ingredients from the processor into a large bowl.  Add about a 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and the zest and juice of the lemon, and mix thoroughly.  Using a spoon, spread the tapenade onto the crunchy bread slices, generously.  Arrange a slice of prosciutto di Parma right on top, and you have yourself a quick and easy appetizer that you won't be able to keep on the plate!  (Which I know my mom can vouch for, because she took the photos for me, and when she went to put her camera down, and come back to get a piece, they were already gone!)

**You may notice I did not use salt and pepper.  In my opinion, the flavors of all of the ingredients are incredibly strong (capers, anchovies, and olives are extremely salty), I don't think the dish needs any seasoning, especially because the oils from the sun-dried tomatoes has flavor, as well as the lemon zest.  If you taste the dish, and think it needs salt and pepper, by all means, add it!**

Let me know what you think!

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