When we’re having an office day at Southern Protocol, we truly run the gamut of acclaimed morning/early afternoon television. We start off with The Today Show, segue into the random hilariousness that is Kathie Lee and Hoda, turn over to The View on abc (which is then muted half the time – honestly, how can I think what you’re saying is possibly interesting if you’re all screaming over each other?!), and then tune in for Rachael Ray’s surprisingly delightful daytime show. All of this is of course before we watch the trainwreck also known as Whose Wedding Is It Anyway (sometimes it makes you feel nice to know that you’re not the crazy coordinator!)
The point being, there’s a lot of useless information thrown at us on office days. What wasn’t useless today? Rachael Ray’s Crostini Bar. I am a huge fan of any kind of crostini or bruschetta; they are beyond easy to make, look so classic, can be done a million ways without seeming tired, and are – most importantly – always delicious! She had a few great twists on the appetizer today, but one of my favorites was the Puttanesca Pancetta crostini, for which the recipe is below. The others she featured: Smoky Eggplant and Roasted Garlic Spread, Raw Zucchini and Corn Crostini Topper, Mushroom Pate, and White Bean and Sesame Spread.
Next time you’re throwing together a cocktail party and need a great display, or a dinner party and need easy to prepare munchies during pre-cocktails, definitely consider a crostini bar.
Puttanesca Pancetta Crostini (makes about 2.5-3 cups)
-1 teaspoon anchovy paste
-2 cloves garlic, grated or pasted
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-6 heirloom plum OR large hothouse plum tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
-A handful of caper berries, drained, quartered and sliced OR 3 tablespoons capote capers, drained and coarsely chopped
-A generous handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
-1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
-A few leaves of basil, torn or chopped
-1 small Fresno cherry pepper, seeded and chopped
-A handful of oil-cured black olives, pitted and finely chopped
-French baguette to slice and toast to serve
With a fork or whisk, combine anchovy and garlic paste with the extra virgin olive oil in a bowl. Add tomatoes, capers, parsley, onion, basil, chili pepper, olives, and toss to combine. Serve with charred or toasted bread.