Kicking off a special dinner with some delicious small bites and a glass of bubbly is such a great way to start an evening. Whilst this is something we only tend to indulge in when we entertain I do occasionally make appetisers on weekends when we’re on our own. These two crostini were made on separate occasions – the tuna just for the two of us and the prawn when we had some friends over. There’s no reason however you couldn’t make a little of both and serve them at the same time. These super tasty and easy to make crostini would also make perfect finger food for a cocktail party.
1 sourdough baguette
For the Tuna Crostini – Enough for about 8 slices of crostini
200g sashimi grade tuna cut into small dice
Large pinch of chilli flakes
Large pinch of flaky sea salt
1 scant teaspoon fennel seeds
Leaves from a few sprigs of marjoram
Juice of half a lemon
Drizzle of best quality extra virgin olive oil
For the Prawn Crostini – Enough for about 8 slices of crostini Adapted from Karen Martini , Cooking At Home
10 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves of garlic sliced
1 x 400g tin of cannellini beans, drained
300ml stock or water
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
300g raw prawns, peeled, deveined and chopped into large chunks
Handful flat leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Cut the sour dough bread on an angle in 1 cm slices. Brush both sides with olive oil and cook on a hot ridged griddle pan until toasted and ever so slightly scorched. You can also toast the bread in a hot oven for five minutes but the smoky flavour from toasting on the griddle adds a lovely flavour. Set aside and assemble the toppings.
For the tuna crostini place the fennel, chilli and salt in a mortar and pestle and pound lightly to break the fennel seeds up a little and release their fragrance. Place the tuna in a bowl and add all the other ingredients and stir gently to combine. Taste and adjust with more lemon juice, chilli and fennel if required. The mixture needs to be made just prior to serving otherwise the lemon juice will start to cook the tuna. Place a generous amount on the toasted baguette slices and top with a few more marjoram leaves and another drizzle of olive oil.
To make the prawn crostini, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a frypan over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook for a few minutes, then season with salt. Add the beans, stock or water and rosemary and cook for about 10 minutes or until the beans are very soft. Remove from the heat and drain, reserve the liquid. Mash the beans with a fork or the back of a spoon (add some of the reserved liquid if the paste is too dry) and drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon. Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a frypan over medium heat. When hot add the chopped prawns and cook until just changed colour. Season, then add the parsley and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Spread the mashed cannellini beans generously over the toasted bread and spoon the prawns over the beans and season with a generous grinding of black pepper.