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Originally published Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 6:17 AM

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6 bold, easy crostini toppers for your Oscar party

These easy, bold recipes for crostini toppers are the perfect treat for your Oscar-viewing get-together.


The Associated Press

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An Oscar viewing party should be the culinary antithesis of a Super Bowl gathering. Where the latter focuses on big, bold, messy flavors tied together with a whole lot of fat, the Academy Awards call for a more refined dining experience (even if both events are spent on the same couch in front of the same television).

So for our refined fare, we opted for a crostini party. We created six toppings that can be spooned, scooped or smeared onto whatever bases you like. Assemble the toppings, offer up an assortment of breads, crackers and crisps, then let guests help themselves while you focus on the awards — March 2 on ABC — and the cocktails.

To make your party prep even easier, all of these toppings can be assembled up to a day ahead of time. Many of them take 30 minutes or less to assemble. The flavors will be better if you let the toppings come to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Smoked Salmon Tartare

Makes 12 servings

8 ounces smoked salmon

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Zest and juice of 1 orange

½ English cucumber, seeded and finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

½ teaspoon ground coriander

Salt and ground black pepper

1. Place the salmon in the freezer for 10 minutes or until very cold. Dice the salmon using a very sharp knife.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the citrus zests and juices, cucumber, chives, cilantro and coriander. Mix gently but thoroughly, then mix in the salmon. Season with salt and black pepper.

Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms

Makes 12 servings

1 pound small cremini or button mushrooms

Salt and ground black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1. Halve or quarter the mushrooms to be small bites.

2. Heat a skillet over medium-high and add the mushrooms. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to release their moisture and brown, 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Add the garlic, olive oil and rosemary, then cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Cover and let sit for 2 hours.

Seared Maple Kielbasa With Raisins And Sunflower Seeds

Makes 12 servings

8 ounces kielbasa, finely diced

¼ cup maple syrup

Pinch of red pepper flakes

¼ cup chopped golden raisins

2 tablespoons toasted sunflower seeds

1. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, sear the kielbasa until well-browned, 6 to 8 minutes.

2. Add the maple syrup and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional 3 minutes.

3. Stir in the raisins and sunflower seeds. Spoon into a serving dish.

Broiled Herb Ricotta

Makes 16 servings

2 cups whole milk ricotta

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme

2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions

1 egg, lightly beaten

Salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat the broiler.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, oregano, thyme, scallions and egg. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Spread the mixture into a shallow oven-safe gratin dish. Broil for 5 minutes on the oven’s middle shelf (about 8 inches below the heat), or until hot and golden.

Soft-Boiled Eggs With Beet Greens And Apples

Makes 16 servings

4 eggs

2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 teaspoon olive oil

Black truffle salt (found in specialty stores)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

4 cups baby beet greens (or other baby green, such as kale)

1 large tart apple, cored and finely chopped

1. Place the eggs in a small saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1 inch.

2. Bring to a boil, then cover, remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 9 minutes.

3. Drain the eggs and transfer them to a bowl of ice water to cool. Once the eggs are cool, carefully peel them. Set aside.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, a hefty pinch of truffle salt and pepper. Add the beet greens and apple, then toss to coat. Arrange on a serving plate.

5. Cut the eggs into quarters and arrange over the top of the greens. Finish with another sprinkle of truffle salt.

Butter-Roasted Radishes With Dill, Feta, And Walnuts

Makes 12 servings

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 cups radishes, trimmed and quartered

Salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

½ cup toasted chopped walnuts

1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a medium bowl, toss together the butter and radishes until thoroughly coated. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned. Spoon onto a serving plate and sprinkle with the dill, feta and walnuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.



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