Crisp Toasts and Chargrilled Bruschetta


Crisp Toasts and Chargrilled Bruschetta Make life easy! Miniaturized toast, bruschetta, and smorrebrod can be finished with store bought ingredients as well as homemade.

The only thing to remember when using bread or toast as finger food is that the bases should be small and the toppings should stick sensibly, so they don't tumble down people's shirt fronts. You can serve them in their bread form, but they go stale or soggy very quickly (unless they're Danish, that is). I think thinly sliced baguettes or ciabattas provide perfectly sized toast, but other kinds can be halved, or cut into shapes with cookie cutters.


Crisp Toasts and Chargrilled Bruschetta

Makes about 30.

Easy, mini open sandwiches can be topped with ingredients from the Bruschetta Topping List.

1 baguette or 4 small ciabatta loaves,
   sliced into 1/2 inch slices.

To make Crisp Toasts:
Arrange the baguette slices apart on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees F. until lightly biscuit-colored. Take care-don't let them become too crisp or they will break when touched.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. They can be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 week. When read to serve, crisp them again in the oven for a few minutes.

To make Chargrilled Bruschetta:
Put the sliced ciabatta or baguette on a stove-top grill-pan or barbecue and cook until toasted and lined.


Bruschetta Toppings

Choose from this list, plus other toppings from the Pizza Topping list. You can use a selection of Italian ingredients either homemade or store-bought. Don't use more than 3-4 ingredients on each item or they will become too complicated.

  • Red pesto brushed over the surface then topped with a curl of chargrilled yellow pepper and half an oven-dried garlic-spiked tomato and sprinkled with fresh thyme leaves. Bake the bases for 5 minutes then top with a thick layer of eggplant purée then sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and cracked black pepper. Fontina cheese with anchovy and a dot of red pesto. Fontina cheese, pancetta strips and cracked black pepper. Char-grilled yellow pepper with roasted baby artichokes. Oven-Dried Tomatoes with olive oil or fontina and tarragon. Char-grilled red pepper with fried fresh sage leaves. Anchovies with melted mozzarella and dried oregano. Onion Marmalade with Oven-Dried Tomatoes or cracked black pepper and salt. Sautéed mushrooms with Gruyere, gorgonzola, and mozzarella. Flaked fresh tuna with scallions and capers. Char-grilled, finely sliced eggplant with Oven-Dried Tomatoes and herbs. Finely sliced Parma ham Parmesan shavings Caperberries Salted anchovies Cherry tomatoes, halved.

Onion Marmalade

Makes 2 cups

Delicious caramelized onions can be used in lots of ways-on pizzas, in tarts, on hot dogs and hamburgers, or in leaf scoops.

2 lb. onions, preferably red, finely sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sugar
A pinch of salt
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon crème de cassis
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice (optional)


Put the onions oil, bay leaf, sugar, and salt in a wide skillet over a moderate heat for about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Stir every few minutes.

Add the vinegar, crème de cassis, and allspice, if using. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have become translucent and caramelized, about 15-30 minutes more. Turn gently with tongs from time to time. Remove, cool, and transfer to a lidded container until ready to use. The marmalade will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.

Buy the Book!


Finger Food
By Elsa Petersen-Schepelern
Time-Life Books
Hardback, $19.95
ISBN: 0-7370-2022-9
Recipe Reprinted by permission.


Finger Food



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