Entertaining should be a fun and simple. Compile a repertoire of simple hors-d'oeuvres that you can prepare in advance. With very little actual cooking time and easy assembly, this two-biter will become a go-to recipe in your collection.
This uncomplicated crostini can easily be adapted for your vegetarian friends by omitting the salami. It pairs nicely with a variety of wines, such as fruity reds, rosé, or an oaky chardonnay. The creaminess of the brie, tart sweetness of the cranberry, saltiness of the salami, all topped with a crisp, refreshing sprig of mint combine to ensure that this will be a crowd pleaser.
- 1 16oz bottle of balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup of light brown sugar
- 2 pinch of salt
- 1 1/2 cups Wild Coast Fruit dried whole cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup cranberry juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- 1 French baguette, cut into ⅓-inch slices
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 round of chilled Brie cheese, sliced (with or without rind)
- 1 salami thinly sliced
- 1 small package fresh mint
- Pour balsamic vinegar into a heavy-bottomed saucepot.
- Add brown sugar and 2 pinches of salt.
- Stir to combine.
- Place the saucepot over medium heat, bring it to a boil and stir.
- Continue to boil over medium heat until the glaze is syrupy and has reduced by half, approximately 20 or 30 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the burner and allow it to cool. Stored in an airtight bottle your glaze will be fresh for up to two weeks.
- As early as 2 days ahead but not less than 3 hours, combine cranberries, cranberry juice cocktail, vanilla extract and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and bring to boil, stirring occasionally.
- Cover and remove from heat.
- Let stand until cranberries have absorbed most of the liquid but still maintain some of their desirable texture. This will take approximately 1 hour.
- Transfer the cranberry compote to a glass jar or bowl and refrigerate uncovered until cold. If you have leftover compote, keep it refrigerated and you can enjoy it in many ways for a number of days.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/204 degrees C.
- Place the slices of baguette in a single layer on a sheet tray.
- Brush slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the tray in your preheated oven for about 7-8 minutes. Ideally, they will be toasted on the outside while remaining slightly chewy in the center.
- Give the crostini enough time to cool to room temperature.
- Top crostini starting with a slice of Brie, a folded slice of salami, 1/2 tsp. cranberry compote, and finish with one fresh mint leaf.
- Just before serving, drizzle the crostini sparingly with your balsamic syrup.
You can confidently assemble your crostini an hour before the party kicks off. Whether you are planning intimate cocktails at home with close friends, hoping to add a little sophistication to your tailgate, or looking for something quick and easy to contribute to your office holiday get together, these crostini are a perfect addition to any affair. The sweet and tangy cranberry compote is quite versatile. You don't have to be afraid to take your culinary creativity out for a spin and mix it up with a variety of cured meats and cheeses. You can even try a similar creation using Wild Coast Fruit dried whole blueberries and a creamy chevre or sharp cheddar and ham. We would love it if you shared with us where the inspiration takes you!