Book Club and Crostini

Book Club nights have become almost as much about the food and wine as it was about the book.

Recently we read Catch-22 for book club.  Let’s just say, for me, it was more fun trying incorporate the book title into conversation than actually reading the book.  To be fair, it is my roommates favorite book, but I never finished it.   The book really didn’t grab my attention and hold it.

I am a person where the book has to draw you in and keep going. You can’t start each chapter with a new story or not tie it back to the last chapter. I need flow and sequence or at least a feeling that the story is building up to something, even if it is from several different angles. Catch-22 could not do that for me. I gave up trying to finish the book a third the way through. Not too often that I do that. However, this was the second time I picked up, and never finished this book.  A sign? Maybe.

Now for the highlight of the Book Club evening. The food, wine and company.

I am going to tell you more about the food than anythingelse. But you expected that didn’t you?

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I made 3 different types of Crostini. They were so delicious, maybe it was all the wine, but I am going to still claim that these were fantastic!  There was not even a crostini left in sight after book club was over.  We just grazed on them the whole evening. In between sips of delicious red wine, of course.

Now I am going to make a bold claim. These were all EASY!  They took me no time, but were filled with flavors that just were perfect.

Did you know that you should not run water over mushrooms to wash them? Rather you put them in a bowl of water and roll them around to get the dirt off. Not sure I remember the reasoning, but I know there is some culinary reason behind it, so just take my word for it.

To get started, you will need to reduce down your chopped mushrooms with garlic and leeks in some olive oil. Once ready you will mix in some goat cheese and spoon heaping spoonfuls onto toast.

Bruschetta is actually not too hard, just  time consuming because of all the chopping.  You will need to dice up tomatoes, basil and garlic. Mix all together with parmesan, crack some black pepper over the top, drizzle with olive oil and stir!  See wasn’t that simple.

Last, the Artichoke crostini are the easiest of all.  It is like a parfait, all about the layers.  Start with your toasted french bread, spread goat cheese on each slice. Layer on spinach, artichokes, more cheese and black pepper.  Toss them back into the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese and heat up the artichokes. There you have it, those are done too!

I know I have claimed several times that these are easy, but they truly are.  They will come out so delicious, that you will think you should have spent hours on them.

I made this trio all in 35 minutes before book club. The true test is really managing your time.  If you are going to attempt all 3 together, here are some tips to get it all done together. Start by cutting your bread and popping it in the oven to toast up. Then cut up your ingredients for the mushroom and leek crostini.  Once you have the mushrooms reducing in a pan, you can start the bruschetta.  Chop everything, toss with some olive oil and put in the refrigerator. Bread should be ready by this point so you can start stacking your artichoke crostini.   The cheese will be out, so once you mushrooms have cooked down,  spoon in the cheese and set aside. When the artichokes are in the oven, assemble your plates and you are ready to go!

 

Portabella & Leek Crostini

yields 12 crostini

  • 12 oz baby portabella mushrooms, diced
  • ¼ cup leeks, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons goat cheese
  • 1 loaf French bread, small
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In medium saucepan, heat olive oil.  Add mushrooms, leeks, and garlic to pan. Saute mushrooms and leeks until fully cooked on medium heat.
  3. Spray 2 baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Slice bread loaf into even ½ inch disks.  Place on baking sheets in an even layer.  Bake for 5-7 minutes and then flip. Bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, combine mushroom and leeks with cheese.
  5. Spoon mushroom mixture onto toasted bread.  Serve warm.

 

Bruschetta

yields 24 crostini

  • 4-5 Roma tomatoes, chopped without seeds
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup basil, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 loaf French bread, sliced
  1. In medium bowl, combine chopped tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, basil, garlic, black pepper and salt.
  2. Sprinkle with olive oil and mix.  Add enough oil to lightly coat mixture.  Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 2 baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Slice bread loaf into even ½ inch disks.  Place on baking sheets in an even layer.  Bake for 5-7 minutes and then flip. Bake for another 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  4. Serve bruschetta with toasted bread.

 

Artichoke & Goat Cheese Crostini

yields 12 crostini

  • 1 can artichokes, quartered
  • 12 oz fresh spinach
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • 1 loaf wheat French bread, small
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray 2 baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray. Slice bread loaf into even ½ inch disks.  Place on baking sheets in an even layer.  Bake for 5-7 minutes or until one side is lightly browned.
  3. Spread goat cheese on browned side of each slice of bread.
  4. Place 2 spinach leaves on top of cheese.
  5. Add 2 artichoke chunks on top of spinach.  Sprinkle with more cheese.
  6. Crack black pepper over all crostini.
  7. Bake for another 7-9 minutes.  Serve warm.

About Rachel

Country girl turned urbanite. Finding ways to mess up my kitchen, keep my country roots and explore all that city living offers!

3 thoughts on “Book Club and Crostini

    1. Thanks Phoebe! That is such an old post, I had to go back and remind myself what it was all about 🙂 I love me some good mushrooms! I may have inspired me to get another crostini recipe posted soon! Hope to see you around here more 🙂

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