Ideal time for cool chilled salads.
Simple and simply sensational.
Not just salads, but fare that can be re-invented
as small plates + crostini. Amuse bouche?
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Crostini that can be paired with a salad…
or ideal nibble on its own.
Egg Salad Crostini with White Anchovies
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 large garlic clove, halved
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 thin baguette, sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
24 white anchovy fillets or pickled herring pieces—drained, patted dry and halved crosswise
Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet. Add the onion–cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally until browned, 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Preheat the oven to 300°. Lightly brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil and arrange on a large baking sheet. Bake the crostini for 5 minutes, or until crisp, but not golden. Immediately rub 1 side of each crostini with the garlic. Let cool on the baking sheet. Meanwhile, prepare an ice water bath. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the eggs and return to a boil, then boil for 7 minutes. Immerse the eggs in the ice water bath until completely cool, then peel and transfer to a medium bowl. Lightly mash the eggs with a large fork. Gently stir in the chives, vinegar and the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. To assemble, top each crostini with the onion, followed by the egg salad and a piece of anchovy.
NOTE: The soft-boiled eggs can be refrigerated overnight. The crostini toasts can be stored in an airtight container overnight. Mix the egg salad and assemble the crostini up to 30 minutes before serving.
Simple, but savory.
White Bean Crostini with Spicy Cucumbers
3 large garlic cloves, 1 minced
2 thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Table salt and freshly ground pepper
1 European cucumber, very thinly sliced crosswise
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
40 1/2-inch-thick baguette slices, toasted
Put the beans in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover by 2 inches. Add the 2 whole garlic cloves, thyme sprigs and bay leaf and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Cover partially and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Discard the thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer the beans, garlic and cooking liquid to a food processor and puree. Press the puree through a coarse strainer into a bowl. Stir in the olive oil and lemon juice and season with table salt and pepper. Spread the cucumber slices in a large glass baking dish. In a bowl, combine the minced garlic with the vinegar, sugar, kosher salt and crushed red pepper; stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the dressing over the cucumber and toss. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, tossing occasionally. Just before serving, spread each slice of toast with white bean puree and top with cucumber slices. Arrange the crostini on a platter and serve.
Delicate and dainty. Ideal for small plates.
Chicken Salad Cream Puffs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup water
2 tablespoons margarine
2 egg whites
Vegetable cooking spray
Chicken Salad of choice.
Combine the first 3 ingredients, and set aside. Combine water and margarine in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; add the flour mixture, stirring well until mixture is smooth and pulls away from sides of pan. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes. Add egg whites and egg, 1 at a time, beating vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth. Spoon mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch round tip, and pipe 30 (1 1/2-inch-round) mounds onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°, and bake an additional 10 minutes; let cool completely on a wire rack. Cut tops off cream puffs; fill each cream puff with 1 tablespoon Chicken Salad. Serve immediately.
Rustic…and ready in a blink.
White Bean and Roasted Chicken Salad
2 cups coarsely chopped skinless, boneless rotisserie chicken
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/3 cup sliced fresh basil
2 (16-ounce) cans cannellini beans–rinsed and drained
for the dressing:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
To prepare salad, place first 5 ingredients in a large bowl– stir gently to combine. To prepare dressing, combine vinegar and remaining ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle over salad, tossing gently to coat.
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