Gorgonzola & Anchovy Crostini with Pickled Radicchio
The sweet and sour flavours of this quick pickled radicchio/Italian chicory perfectly offset the Gorgonzola cheese and anchovies, and the colour contrast makes for the prettiest of canapés.
12 slices of baguette
3–4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
300 g/2 1/2 cups Gorgonzola
12 canned anchovies
300 ml/1 1/4 cups apple vinegar
1 generous tablespoon runny honey
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 small long radicchio/Italian chicory, sliced
To pickle the radicchio/Italian chicory, pour the apple vinegar into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for a couple of minutes, then add the honey and fennel seeds. Turn the heat down and bubble for 5 minutes. Drop the sliced radicchio/Italian chicory into the vinegar, cook for 1 minute, then turn off the heat. After 4–5 minutes, remove the radicchio/Italian chicory and fennel seeds with a slotted spoon, transfer to a mixing bowl and cool.
Brush the baguette slices with the oil and toast on a hot griddle/ridged stovetop pan until golden (alternatively bake in an oven preheated to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/ Gas 4 for 10 minutes or so).
Top each crostini with a good dollop of Gorgonzola cheese and add a single anchovy. Garnish with the pickled radicchio/Italian chicory and serve.
Truffled Canapé Toasts
Two different truffle-flavoured toppings make these crostini perfect to serve with a pre-dinner drink.
1 baguette, cut into 16 slices, 5-mm/1/4-inch thick
1 tablespoon olive oil
TRUFFLED MUSHROOM PASTE
10 g/1/3 oz. dried porcini
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 shallot, finely chopped
120 g/4 oz. white/cup mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon brandy
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted, to garnish
freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish
TRUFFLE HONEY MUSHROOMS
80 g/3 oz. soft goat’s cheese
1 tablespoon truffle honey
1 white/cup mushroom, cut into 8 thin slices
freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
Place the baguette slices on a baking sheet, brush lightly with the olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until browned. Set aside to cool.
For the paste topping, pour boiling water over the dried porcini; set aside for 20 minutes, then strain. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan/skillet. Add the shallot and fry gently until softened, then add the soaked porcini, mushrooms and brandy and cook over a medium heat, stirring, for 1–2 minutes. Season, then fry, stirring, until the mushrooms have softened. Set aside to cool.
In a food processor blend together the cooled mushroom mixture, truffle oil and mascarpone cheese to a smooth paste. Spread half the baguette slices with the truffled mushroom paste. Garnish with pine nuts and parsley.
Spread the remaining baguette slices with goat’s cheese. Drizzle each one with a little of the truffle honey and top with a mushroom slice. Season with black pepper.