February 19, 2014 in Food

Enjoy the Oscars with a variety of tasty spreads for crostini

Enjoy the Oscars with a variety of tasty spreads for crostini
Alison Ladman Associated Press
 
Associated Press photo

Crostini toppings for your Oscar viewing party could include, clockwise from left, balsamic marinated mushrooms, artichoke caponata and smoked salmon tartare. This year’s Academy Awards will be March 2 on ABC.
(Full-size photo)

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 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 (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

8 ounces smoked salmon

Zest and juice of 1 lime

Zest and juice of 1 orange

1/2 English cucumber, seeded and finely diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Salt and ground black pepper

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

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.

Serves: 12

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

Halve or quarter the mushrooms to be small bites. 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. Add the garlic, olive oil and rosemary, then cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic vinegar. Cover and let sit for 2 hours.

Serves: 12

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup finely chopped shallot

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large red onion, chopped

3 stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, finely diced

1/3 cup chopped green olives

2 tablespoons chopped capers

14-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts

2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano

Salt and ground black pepper

In a large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the shallot, garlic and onion, then saute until tender and beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook for another 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the olives, capers, artichokes, vinegar, honey, lemon zest and juice, and oregano. Lower the heat to medium and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring gently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves: 12

1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into chunks

5 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt and ground black pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped cherry or Peppadew peppers

1/4 cup grated Romano cheese

1/4 cup chopped toasted almonds

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Working in batches in a food processor, pulse the cauliflower chunks to small pieces, about 1/4 inch.

Transfer the cauliflower to a medium bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and a sprinkle each of salt and black pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and bake until lightly browned, stirring once or twice, about 30 minutes. Return the cauliflower to the bowl and stir in the remaining olive oil, the chopped peppers, cheese and almonds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves: 12

2 tablespoons butter, melted

3 cups radishes, trimmed and quartered

Salt and ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup toasted chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

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.

Serves: 12

© Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email