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Talking with the caterer this past weekend about the menu for our upcoming wedding, I was reminded of the great possibilities of one of the most humble of hors d'oeuvres: the crostino. The caterer suggested a few different kinds for our cocktail hour, including baked brie with a spicy pepper jelly and seared Muscovy duck breast with pear and apple chutney. These savory-sweet combinations made me think of two crowd-pleasing crostini I used to make all the time back when I worked as a caterer -- each starts with a savory base (toasted goat cheese or seared duck breast) and utilizes the same tart-sweet condiment for contrast: a simple red onion jam with red wine and sherry vinegar.
I posted the toasted goat cheese crostini to my profile back when we first started food52 and Amanda and I wanted give the recipe database a boost with some of our favorites, but when I did that, I hadn't made the crostini in at least five years. Inspired by this weekend's wedding planning marathon, I plan to change that. Below is the second recipe, with seared duck breast and red onion jam, which I haven't yet posted to my profile but which is no less delicious.
Crostini with Duck Breast and Red Onion Jam
Makes about 30 crostini
For the red onion jam:
- 2 medium red onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup red wine
- 1 Tablespoon sherry vinegar
- 1 long, slender baguette
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large duck breasts, fat on
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- Kosher salt