Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Crustacean Celebration: Crab Crostini
I have had a terrible time with crostini lately. Specifically, I've had trouble toasting the thin slices of bread that comprise the base of this infinitely mutable (and delicious) appetizer.
What's so hard about making toasted bread, you might ask? I slice the bread. I turn on the broiler in the oven and, while it heats, I spread out the slices on a cookie sheet. I put the cookie sheet in the oven under the broiler and shut the oven door. So far so good, right? I turn away from the oven for just a moment, to chop something or to let the dogs outside or get a glass of water, and I turn around to check on the crostini and smoke is pouring out of the oven. Again.
It's happened when I'm alone in the kitchen. It's happened when guests were sitting at the counter watching me. But I am refusing to admit defeat. The last time, I made the topping and delegated the broiler portion to Dave. It worked beautifully (especially since I said it was OK for him to have a beer while he watched).
This crostini topping is something you can do for yourself, and would be delicious spooned onto crackers or served on top of mixed greens. Its inspiration was the crostini I had at Genoa recently, though David Anderson's version mixed in a raw egg yolk for richness and topped it with a mound of teeny baby arugula.
1 baguette, sliced into 1/4" slices
1 crab, cooked and the meat removed (or 1 lb. crab meat)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 Tbsp. finely chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Spread baguette slices on cookie sheet, brush one side with olive oil and toast under broiler. Turn over and toast other side. (Don't get distracted!)
Put crab meat in a medium sized mixing bowl and add olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. Mix lightly and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon onto toasted bread slices, arrange on platter and serve.
Check out these other examples of the crabby-licious goodness that is the Crustacean Celebration at GoodStuffNW: pasta with crab and radicchio; hot artichoke and crab dip; killer crab cakes; and a company-worthy crab-filled cioppino.