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This recipe for ROASTED GARLIC CROSTINI WITH ASSORTED TOPPINGS, by , is from The Lathon Family Cookbook Project, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Keith Lathon
Added: Sunday, August 30, 2009


For the roasted garlic:
4 heads garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

For the crostini:
12 slices of baguette or country-style Italian bread, sliced at a 45-degree
angle about 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Pureed garlic from 4 whole roasted heads of garlic (see above)

Assorted topping options:
Shaved Parmesan, dry jack or Gruyère cheese
Fresh, creamy goat cheese, at room temperature
Roasted red bell peppers, home-roasted or bottled, cut into thin strips
Prepared tapenade (black olive and anchovy paste)
Oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes cut into thin strips
Capers, drained
Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced, or halved, seeded, and diced
Fresh basil leaves, cut into fine julienne strips or left whole
Crushed red pepper flakes
Balsamic vinegar
Thinly sliced prosciutto
Anchovy fillets packed in olive oil, drained
Fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Put the garlic in a roasting pan and drizzle on the olive oil. Toss to coat thoroughly. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the garlic bulbs are very tender but not overly brown. Test by carefully giving a bulb a gentle squeeze while protecting your hand with a folded kitchen towel or an oven glove. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

2. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut each head of garlic crosswise in half, midway between its leaf and root ends, to expose all the cloves inside. Their pulp will be golden brown and as soft as butter. You can squeeze it out of each half by hand or scoop it out with a small spoon or knife. Transfer the roasted garlic to a small bowl, pour in any olive oil from the baking dish, and stir and mash with a fork to form a smooth purée. You'll have 1/3 to 1/2 cup of purée, depending on the size of the garlic heads.

3. To make the Roasted Garlic Crostini, preheat the oven to 375° F. Brush the bread slices with the olive oil and arrange them on a baking sheet. Bake them until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool to room temperature. Spread the puréed roasted garlic evenly on the tops of the crostini. Top the crostini with any of the options listed above, or make an assortment. Spread some with 1 tablespoon each of goat cheese; then decorate the cheese with strips of roasted bell pepper or a mixture of sun-dried tomato strips and capers, or a smear of tapenade. In place of the goat cheese, top others with diced tomato tossed with some fresh basil, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar; with prosciutto and Parmesan cheese; with anchovy fillets and freshly ground black pepper; or with slices of Roma tomato and fresh mozzarella, topped with fresh basil leaves.

Wolfgang's Easy Tips:
• The roasted garlic will keep for up to 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator.
• In addition to using the garlic for the crostini below, try mixing it into stir-fried vegetables and spooning it onto pizzas; stir it into risottos or your mashed potatoes; add it to sauces for meat, poultry, seafood, or pasta; or purée it with butter to make the best garlic bread you can imagine.

Makes 4 servings.

© Keith Lathon




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