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Chef's Corner: Wonderful Crostini

Chef's Corner: Wonderful Crostini

Crostini – which literally means "little crusts” in Italian – are small slices of bread, toasted crispy and golden in colour and typically served as an appetiser or accompanying cheese boards, charcuterie platters and antipasti.

The ideal loaf should be elongated, with a crust similar to ciabatta or a baguette. Each piece is sliced on a diagonal to ensure a larger surface for more toppings. My preferred preparation would be on the grill, brushed with olive oil, toasted only on one side, finished with pinch of sea salt.

Crostini recipes are meant to be simple, playful combinations, so pick your favourite topping ingredients and serve at summer get-togethers.

Here are some crostini inspirations for the summer:

  • Grilled peaches, lemon whipped ricotta, toasted pistachio and hot honey on ciabatta (see recipe below)
  • Grilled zucchini, mint pesto, poached egg, sautéed shiitake on grilled pita points
  • Roasted lobster, smashed avocado, pepper jelly on cornbread toast
  • Pulled pork, mango barbecue sauce, pickled pineapple, basil oil, crushed peanuts on brioche toast
  • Chorizo, grilled corn, chipotle aioli, cilantro, crunchy cancha on rye toast
  • Hazelnut spread, mini marshmallows, crushed graham crackers on sweetened brioche toast


  • 4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat barbecue on high.
In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients and combine well.
Layer the peaches on the grill and char evenly, about 5-7 minutes in total, then remove from the grill and let cool.
Slice peaches to ¼-inch slices and set aside.


  • 8 ounces fresh ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces heavy cream
  • 3 ounces olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested

Add all ingredients in a medium bowl. Using a hand whisk, stir until smooth, about 3 minutes.


  • 8 ounces grade A honey
  • 4 ounces Calabrian chili paste (substitute with any spicy paste)

Mix both ingredients well and set aside.


  • 2 loaves of 12” Italian style ciabatta bread, cut diagonally into slices ¾-inch thick by 4 inches long
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper

On a tray, layer the bread slices and drizzle with all other ingredients.
Place the bread slices on a hot grill. Grill one side only for about 3 minutes, until the bread is lightly crusty. Set all bread slices aside.

Smear the ricotta on the untoasted, soft side of the bread slices and then top with a few slices of peaches. Drizzle with the hot honey and garnish with chopped toasted pistachios.

Massimo De Francesca is the executive chef at Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.

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