Trio of Crostini for Parties

Serves 12.

Note: For ease of serving, you can prep the mushroom and caprese toppings earlier in the day, and pack them in storage containers with tightfitting lids. Wait to slice the avocado until just before serving. Assemble all the crostini at the last minute. For a party, pack a large platter and put your toasted, sliced bread in a zip-top bag. Assemble the dish at the table. From Robin Asbell.

• 3 large baguettes

• Oil to grease pan

Mushroom topping:

• 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 8 oz. cremini or button mushrooms, sliced

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 1 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped

• 1/4 c. smoked almonds, chopped

Caprese topping:

• 1 large roma tomato, seeded and diced

• 1/4 lb. fresh, small mozzarella balls (also called “pearls”), or cubed

• 1/2 c. julienned fresh basil

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 1 tsp. champagne vinegar

• Coarse salt, to taste

Avocado topping:

• 1 large ripe avocado

• 1 small red fresno or red jalapeño chile, seeded and slivered

• 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

• Extra-virgin olive oil

• Coarse salt, to taste


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Slice the baguettes into angled, 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Spread on lightly oiled sheet pans and toast for about 10 minutes. Let cool on racks.

To make mushroom topping: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and stir them, searing and stirring frequently. When the mushrooms are browned and shrunken, about 5 minutes, add the garlic and rosemary and keep stirring for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat and let cool. Save the chopped almond to sprinkle over the finished crostini.

To make caprese topping: In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, 1 tablespoon olive oil and vinegar, and toss to mix. When you are ready to assemble, spoon the mixture on the crostini and sprinkle with coarse salt to taste.

To make avocado topping: Cut the avocado into small cubes. In a small bowl, combine avocado with chiles and lemon juice, and drizzle with a little olive oil. Spoon onto crostini and sprinkle with coarse salt just before serving.