Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Crostini alla Romana

This is a dish from one of our favorite Italian restaurants. Unfortunately the restaurant is in California. We live in Chicago. But, it's not so bad because we get to eat there every time we vacation in Southern California, which is every year or so, AND we can recreate one of their specialties at home.

This is an easy appetizer composed of a few top-notch ingredients. It's only a matter of assembling your toasty bread, prosciutto, mozzarella and sage crisped in melted butter. At Grappolo, they make this in their big, beautiful brick oven, slide it onto a plate and place it in front of you in what seems like a few seconds. When we do it, it takes a few minutes...not bad. You do have to serve this right after you make it, because that crispy toast and melty cheese is not going to improve by sitting around. It would actually do very well as a quick weeknight meal for one or two all by itself. Plus wine, obviously.

Crostini alla Romana
Inspired by Trattoria Grappolo.

For 4 pieces:

4 thick slices baguette or crusty bread
olive oil or cooking spray
1 garlic clove (optional)
8 thin slices prosciutto
4 slices mozzarella (about the size of the bread)
8 sage leaves
2 Tbs unsalted butter

Brush or spray bread with olive oil and toast both sides in a skillet, toaster, or under the broiler. Rub one side of toast with garlic clove if desired.

Place bread on a broiler pan and top evenly with prosciutto and mozzarella. Broil just until cheese is melted. Don't put it too close to the heat and watch closely to avoid burning. This won't take long.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet or saucepan on medium-high heat until foamy. Add sage and swirl until sage is fragrant and slightly crisp. Drizzle sage butter over crostini and garnish with sage leaves. Serve immediately.

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