Alex Guarnaschelli's Go-To Crostini Makes Entertaining Easy

Is your place the kind of place where friends and neighbors stop by for surprise visits? Maybe all the neighborhood kids congregate in your yard and their parents drop by; Maybe you have the most communal space of all your friends; Or maybe you just love to have people over. If you find yourself entertaining a lot and are looking for quick, no-fuss ways to feed your guests, there's nothing easier than crostini. 

At its simplest form, crostini are small toasts generally made from a baguette that you can top with anything you like. The possibilities are truly endless. You can make sweet crostini with fruit, mild cheeses, your favorite chocolate hazelnut spread, nut butters, jams, or jellies. You can also make savory crostini with vegetables, cheese, cured meats, nuts, seeds, and herbs. 

When it comes to making these delicious little nibbles, Chef Alex Guarnaschelli has a favorite recipe featuring simple ingredients you might already have in your fridge — and ones that pack a punch with flavor and texture.

A simple snack

In her recipe for Brie Crostini with Pepper and Herbs, which she shared with Food Network, Guarnaschelli suggests topping your toasts with slices of a creamy brie and then adding some fresh herbs, black pepper, and a light dressing. For the dressing, Guarnaschelli mixes 3 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard. She then adds fresh herbs like parsley and tarragon before topping the cheese with this mixture. She then suggests popping the crostini in the oven to melt the brie and warm the toast a bit. But, if you're in a rush and have no desire to cook, this snack would be delicious served at room temperature as well. Also if you're not partial to tarragon, you could substitute other herbs like a chiffonade of basil or sage. These tasty little snacks are sure to satisfy your guests — but be forewarned that they'll probably be stopping by even more often after trying them. 

If you need to toss a snack together for visitors, you can make crostini toasts in advance and store them in the freezer, or at room temperature in a Ziplock bag for up to a week.