Looking for the perfect, go-to appetizer to feed a crowd? These sourdough crostini are for you! We like them with creamy ricotta, marinated artichoke heats, fresh basil and mint. But you can customize them to suit your taste. You’ll never fall short on appetizer ideas again!
Real talk: I’m the worst at appetizers.
For whatever reason, my brain totally freezes when I have to come up with something creative to serve guests before dinner.
Because all I can think of are endless bowls of chips, dips, and salsa!
Over the weekend, we threw a party for Jake’s 8th birthday and I was yet again, faced with appetizer trauma.
I knew the kids would just end up eating chips anyway. But for the adults, I wanted to create a solid go-to appetizer, something I could fall back on without the pressure of creating a new dish every time. And it had to be delicious!
At our restaurant, crostini are one of the most popular antipasti dishes on the menu.
They’re served on sourdough bread with homemade ricotta and some kind of seasonal preparation: honey-balsamic beets, or crispy mushrooms, or roasted apples with a maple-orange vinaigrette. How yummy does that sound?!
So, why reinvent the wheel?
What’s the best bread for sourdough crostini?
You can use any rustic-style sourdough for crostini. It could be homemade or store-bought. It’s totally up to you.
Personally, I prefer something long and oval shaped because lengthy slices are easier to eat. My Everyday Sourdough or Beginner Sourdough are perfect for crostini. Baguettes would be another nice option.
Also, you want bread with a tight interior crumb (small holes). I know big open holes are all the rage, but for crostini you don’t want that. The toppings will fall straight through onto your lap.
And let’s get real: life is too short to clean oil stains off your pants…
Use Creamy Ricotta AS THE base
Before topping the crostini, we like to spread a generous layer of creamy ricotta on the bread first.
Whole milk ricotta has the best flavor, so go for that. However, sometimes ricotta is too watery for crostini which can make the bread soggy if it sits out for too long.
To fix this, strain the ricotta in a lined sieve to remove some of the liquid. We like slightly thick ricotta similar to soft, whipped cream cheese so we strain it for about 15-20 minutes. It has the best texture, and its naturally sweet flavor is more concentrated.
You can also use homemade ricotta. The flavor and texture will be EVEN BETTER.
I have yet to make ricotta myself, but when I do, I’m going to follow this recipe. Looks super easy.
What About The Toppings?
Here’s where you can go wild. Just use your imagination!
For this recipe, we chose to go in a spring inspired direction, topping our sourdough crostini with grilled, marinated artichoke hearts, fresh basil and mint. We also did another one with sautéed asparagus, lemon, and truffle oil. So good, I can’t even begin to explain!
Here are some additional ideas off the top of my head:
- Colorful heirloom tomatoes with herbed ricotta
- Fresh peaches with honey, pistachios, and lemon zest ricotta
- Roasted butternut squash with crispy pancetta, apples & chives
Ok, I’m making myself so hungry right now…. But you get the idea: sourdough crostini can be customized to suit your taste.
If you’re looking for an interesting (and tasty!) appetizer beyond chips and salsa, sourdough crostini are for you.
What’s great is that you don’t need exact measurements. You can use as much or as little of the ingredients as you’d like.
And finally, crostini are best served at room temperature. This means you can assemble them about 30 minutes before your guests arrive and they will be all set and ready to go.
Looking for the perfect, go-to appetizer to feed a crowd? These sourdough crostini are for you! We like them with creamy ricotta, marinated artichoke heats, fresh basil and mint. But feel free to customize the recipe to suit your taste! Just wait until you try them.
PS: this is a loose recipe. You can play around with the quantities as you see fit.
1 long, medium-sized rustic sourdough loaf or baguette (I used the Everyday Sourdough shaped into an oval)
Olive oil, for brushing
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2–3 cups whole milk ricotta
(1x) 16 oz. Jar of grilled, marinated artichoke hearts (I prefer Trader Joe’s), drained. See note.
Large handful of fresh basil and mint leaves
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Line a strainer with cheesecloth or sturdy paper towel. Set over a bowl. Add the ricotta to the strainer and let sit until some of the liquid drains out, about 15-20 minutes for a soft, creamy texture. Squeeze out any extra liquid if you want to move the process along.
Cut the sourdough bread in half vertically, and then across into 1/3-inch thick slices. Lightly brush both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Place the bread slices in a single layer on a rimmed sheet pan. You will have to work in batches, baking one sheet pan at a time.
Bake until lightly golden, about 15 minutes, flipping the slices over about halfway through. The bread should be lightly toasted, but not hard as a rock or chewy in the center. This will all depend of how thick or thin you sliced the bread; adjust the baking time as needed.
Meanwhile, drain the artichoke hearts, roughly chop into pieces (I use my hands), and set aside in a bowl. Stack the basil and mint leaves, roll into a log, and cut across into thin ribbons.
To assemble, spoon and spread a generous dollop of the ricotta onto the cooled crostini slices. Top with some of the artichoke hearts. Sprinkle with some of the basil and mint leaves.
These sourdough crostini can be assembled 30 minutes in advance and left out at room temperature to serve.
I love, love, love, Trader Joe’s marinated artichoke hearts. They sell two kinds- make sure to get the grilled ones. You can also purchase artichoke hearts from any Italian deli. If going the supermarket route, fine something good-quality and stay away from anything in a can.
Keywords: sourdough, sourdough bread, crostini, sourdough crostini, sourdough crostini recipe, sourdough recipe