Artichoke and Parmesan Crostini

Some of the best foods are those that require no cooking, especially in the summer and especially when having company. So for last weekend’s garden party, my wife and I prepared these artichoke and parmesan crostini. They require no cooking except for grilling or toasting some bread, and they taste really fancy.

To make the crostini, we mixed up store-bought marinated artichoke hearts with parmigiano reggiano cheese and some creamy crème fraîche  Then we brightened up the mixture with fresh herbs and spooned it onto grilled bread brushed with olive oil.

We should have doubled the recipe. Our guests devoured these before we could have any. Fortunately, we sneaked a little taste before they arrived.

Artichoke and Parmesan Crostini

2 jars (about 6.5 ounces each) of marinated artichoke hearts (buy here)
1/3 cup parmesan cheese, preferably parmigiano reggiano
2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese or crème fraîche (or cream cheese)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 baguette
Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing on bread

1. Preheat a grill or broiler. Pour some olive oil into a bowl. Slice the baguette on a diagonal into medium-width slices.

2. Arrange the bread slices on a sheet pan or platter and brush one side with olive oil. Place the bread slices on the grill or under the broiler. Turn once, brushing the other side with the oil, so the bread gets nicely crisped up but not burnt, about a minute per side. Remove the bread and set aside.

3. Remove the artichoke hearts from the jar, shake off excess liquid, and roughly chop them. Roughly chop the herbs. Grate the parmesan cheese or shave it with a vegetable peeler.

4. Add the artichokes, parmesan, herbs, and mascarpone or crème fraîche to a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Mix to combine everything.

5. Spoon the artichoke mixture onto the grilled bread slices and serve, topped with more fresh herbs as a garnish. Enjoy!

Total time: 20 minutes.
Makes about 8-10 crostini.

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