I love Italian crostini culture. I mean you can slap anything on a piece of bread and call it a crostini here. And yet, it sounds so elevated just for being a piece of bread with something spread on top. Cheese, meat, peppers, tapenades, spreads, plain olive oil…Italians can make crostini pretty much out of anything.
I mean, I can appreciate the humble cheese and cracker combo that’s so typical of North American backyard barbecues, but the Italians take it to another level. While I have no qualms with cheddar cheese and smoked kielbasa layered on a Triscuit, there’s just something about crostini that seems so much more romantic.
In fact, some of the tastiest crostini I've had are usually the simplest or have the freshest ingredients that come from producers who care. Think Tuscan olive oil with a pinch of salt!
Anyways, I’ve been concocting all kinds of crostini lately and due to the fact that I can’t stop myself from buying a basket of cherries every time I visit my local produce market, I decided to incorporate cherries into my latest crostino. Hence, roasted cherry and coppa (capocollo)...because I’m also obsessed with salty and smokey cured meats as much as I am anything roasted!
Roasting veggies is truly bliss and given that I didn’t have any jam—I know, it’s a shocker—I decided that roasting fresh cherries would be just as wonderful. Plus, I’ve been eating a bit too much sugar these days which means: a) I’m probably not getting enough sleep, b) a sugar-free alternative would probably do me well, and c) fresh is always better, isn’t it?
The ideal balance between sweet and salty, these crostini are the perfect little snack for lazy summertime lunches in the sun. Pair with a glass of sparkling rosé, close your eyes and I bet you $5 that you’ll feel like you’ve just arrived in paradise!
. . .
Cherry & Coppa Crostini
* Makes 4 crostini *
2 cups cherries, de-pitted
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup mascarpone
1 teaspoon honey (I used miele di acacia)
½ teaspoon salt
4 slices of ancient grain bread
20 slices capocollo
2 tablespoons pine nuts (Chopped pistacchios would also work well!)
Preheat the oven to 400° F. Remove pits from cherries and toss with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes.
In a bowl mix mascarpone, honey and salt. Set aside.
Assemble crostini by adding a dollop of the mascarpone mixture to the bread.
Top with a few slices of coppa, followed by cherries and then a sprinkle of pine nuts.