A crostini is simply toasted bread, but when that bread is grilled to toast it, the crostini becomes almost magical. I have posted how to do crostinis on the site before but the pictures were so bad that I thought I should revisit the crostini. Here is the original post. Turns out this photography stuff is hard.
Back to grilled crostinis. They’re simple to do and can be done any number of ways. This is an overview of how to make them. Feel free to try your own combos of herbs and cheese and bread.
Grilled Crostinis Ingredients:
1 baguette of soft sided bread (crusty bread will be get very hard, so make sure to go with soft sided bread).
fresh cracked black pepper
No amounts here on the ingredients as each ingredient needs to be enough to cover the bread. You’ll understand in a few moments.
Slice baguette into 1-1.5 inch thick slices:
You can use any soft sided bread. French, Italian or my favorite, sour dough. If it is a crusty bread it will be like a hockey puck when it’s done.
Pour olive oil into a small dish or bowl to dip the bread in:
Dunk both sides of the bread in the oil to coat:
I had to refill the plate multiple times before I got all of the bread coated on each side:
Now put some fresh cracked black pepper over one side of the slices of bread:
Here’s a close up of about how much pepper:
Now sprinkle some basil over each slice of bread:
And then put about a half teaspoon of minced garlic on each slice of bread. I know this all sounds (and looks) like a ton, but it isn’t once you see how to make the grilled crostinis:
Now take the back of the spoon and grind the garlic into the bread to help it stick because later on we are going to lose a bunch of it:
Here are all the slices with the pepper, basil and garlic:
Slice the havarti and estimate two slices per crostini:
Hold the cheese till the end.
You can use many different types of cheeses. Asiago, parm, romano, work really well too. Romano is my favorite for crostinis. Substituting dill for the basil and dill havarti is my wife’s favorite crostini.
Now out to the grill. Doing two zone grilling. Coals on one side and none on the other:
The desired temp is over 400 degrees over the coals so we’re going medium high to high heat here.
Now put only a few crostinis on at one time as these require constant maintenance in that you can’t walk away for more than about 30 seconds before they burn so you need to constantly check the bottom and rotate the grilled crostinis as they toast:
It takes only about 60 seconds per side to toast them. Flip the toasted ones once they are toasted:
Once the crostinis toast on the bottom, flip them over for another 60 seconds to toast the outer edge of the bread (the center will be insulated by the garlic and basil and not toast before the outside is burnt).
Here is where you will lose a great deal of the toppings which is why we added so much extra. Some of the garlic stuck to the grill grate with more that fell through:
Once the bread toasts around the outer edges on the top, flip it back over and put on the side with no heat:
Now add two slices of cheese per grilled crostini:
Here you can see all five crostinis covered with cheese on the side with no coals to finish grilling:
Close the lid on the Char-Broil 940 to melt the cheese:
Once the cheese melts, the grilling is done and the crostinis can be served:
Give them a couple minutes before you serve them. Not to let the juices rest, because they will be about the temperature of molten lava when they first come off the grill. Be careful who you serve these to. You will be asked to do it all the time once you do.
Also, be sure to follow the order I put forth here on the ingredients or you will lose a lot more when you flip the crostinis. If you put the garlic on first, you will lose a ton of the pepper and basil.
Also, don’t be tempted to put some crostinis over the coals while the cheese is melting on the others on the side with no heat. I made that mistake once. I turned the bread of the second batch into cinders well before the cheese melted on the first. If serving a crowd, after they come off the grill, slice the grilled crostinis in half so more people can sample per batch.
If you have any questions about the crostinis, feel free to ask them below or shoot me an email. Also, I would love to hear your own herb/cheese combos with these. Please share them if you have one you like.
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- 1 baguette of soft sided bread (crusty bread will be get very hard, so make sure to go with soft sided bread).
- minced garlic
- fresh cracked black pepper
- dried basil
- block of havarti cheese
- olive oil
- No amounts as each ingredient needs to be enough to cover the bread
- Slice baguette into 1-1.5 inch thick slices
- Pour olive oil into a small dish or bowl to dip the bread
- Dunk both sides of the bread in the oil to coat
- Put fresh cracked black pepper over one side of the slices of bread
- Sprinkle a heavy coat of basil over each slice of bread
- Put about a half teaspoon of minced garlic on each slice. It sounds like a ton, but a lot of topping will be lost when the crostini is flipped over
- Take the back of the spoon and mash the toppings into the bread to minimize toppings loss when flipped over
- Slice the havarti so there are two slices per piece of bread
- Prepare the grill for two zone grilling: coals on one side and nothing on the other
- Place the crostinis topping side up over the coals, but no more than 6 at a time otherwise you will burn one or two
- Check the bottoms of the crostinis frequently and flip each once it is toasted on the bottom. This should take no more than 45-75 seconds
- Once the side with the toppings browns, flip over and move to the side with no coals
- Place the two slices of havarti on top of each crostini and close the lid
- Once the cheese melts down the side of the crostini (4-5 minutes), remove from the heat and serve