Bobby Flay Just Shared 3 Pantry-Friendly Crostini Recipes That Are Perfect For Holiday Entertaining

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We love holiday entertaining, but the truth is that no matter how prepared we think we are, we always end up needing to pull some things together at the last second. We can’t be the only ones staying up past midnight to wrap presents on Christmas Eve, right? And with so many people stopping by, sometimes we’re not as prepared to feed our guests as we’d like to be. So what’s a host to do when they need a tasty bite for company, and fast? Bobby Flay has a surprisingly easy solution, and using his method you can rely on your favorite pantry and fridge ingredients to cobble together an elegant holiday snack spread in minutes. That’s the magic of crostini.

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Chef Bobby Flay, author of Sundays With Sophie, managed to pull together three different crostini from ingredients he already had on hand. Now, not all of us are going to have fresh figs ready to go like Flay does, but that’s the beauty of crostini — you can play around with what you do have. Now’s the time to break out those random bottles and jars you’ve been holding on to for a special recipe.

Courtesy of Clarkson Potter.

The base of the crostini is some toasted bread drizzled with olive oil. Olive oil figures prominently into most of these crostini, so use a good bottle, like Brightland’s “Alive.” Flay says that items you can easily use to make crostini include pantry items like beans, olive oil, honey, and nuts, refrigerated items like capers, olives, roasted red peppers, all sorts of cheeses, fresh herbs, jams, or butters, and of course fresh fruit.

Courtesy of Brightland.

Here’s the basic method. To each toasted slice of bread, slather on the spread of your choice, be it ricotta, cream cheese, almond butter, a drizzle of olive oil, or hummus — you get the idea.

Then add something crunchy, like toasted nuts or seeds, and something fresh, like fruit, herbs, or pickled peppers, olives, or capers.

Chef Flay gave three examples of crostini he made using ingredients he had on hand. The first was a riccota crostini drizzled with honey, chopped nuts, and freshly sliced figs. No figs? Thinly sliced apples or pears, halved grapes, or balsamic-macerated raspberries or strawberries would work just as well.

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Flay also showed how easy it is to turn a can of beans into a savory crostini topping. He tosses the beans with some piquillo peppers, olive oil, fresh chopped herbs, and seasonings, then tops olive oil-drizzled toasted bread with the mixture. Add vinegar for a pop of fresh flavor — Flay uses balsamic, but sherry vinegar, cider vinegar, or any other vinegar you have on hand will do.

Lastly, if you have a bunch of deli meat on hand, Flay whips up a cheesy, meaty crostini with goat cheese, prosciutto, and walnuts, but you could riff on it in many ways — cream cheese and ham, pimiento cheese and turkey, provolone and salami — and whatever nuts you have on hand would also work.

Once you play around with making crostini a few times, you’ll start to understand the balance of flavors and textures at play, and the next time you find yourself fretting over what to serve last-minute guests, you’ll have the perfect easy appetizer at your finger tips.

Before you go, check out Ina Garten’s easy weeknight dinner recipes below:

Watch: Peppermint Bark Is the Perfect Holiday Gift That You Can Make Right at Home

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