Remember how I was talking last time about hypothetically hosting a holiday party and living vicariously through all our friends/family who get to do so each year? Well, that trend is carrying over to today’s post.
I think, 11 days into December, I’m finally getting bitten by the holiday bug. It’s taken me a little longer than usual this year, but I am so into it now.
In the spirit of that, I am sharing the perfect, and I mean PERFECT, holiday party appetizer with you today. I’m flipping out over this one. I know what you’re thinking: “you flip out over everything you share.” And yes, that’s totally true…because everything I share on here has definitely earned my “this is awesome” stamp of approval. Only the best for you guys.
But this app?! Well, it’s almost too good to be true. Do you ever have moments where you’re eating something SO delicious that you almost can’t believe it can possibly be real? Hah, well, that’s what happened when I was eating these brussels sprout crostini. They are insane. #dramaticmuch?
Now, of course, I’m a little biased because I’m a HUGE brussels fan. But even I, through all my blinding love for brussels, understand that not everyone is aboard the train and some may need a little extra coaxing to give them a try. This recipe is the perfect coax! That or roasting them. You really can’t go wrong there.
The brussels are sautéed in butter and oil until tender and then cooked in a sweet and sour (aka “agrodolce”) sauce and tossed with sweet-yet-tart dried cranberries (or cherries!). Then! They’re topped with a lovely grating of parmesan cheese. YUM. The scary “brussels” factor is masked perfectly. I was slurping this topping out of the pan before it even made it to the crostini. It is so scrumptious.
It’s sweet and tangy and salty and brussel-y (in a good way!). Yesss.
And then! Because I’m going all out in the name of the holidays, I’m throwing whipped ricotta into the situation. One of my most favorite things ever. Especially when it’s spread on crispy toasted bread and topped with that incredible brussels mixture. OH. EM. GEEEEE.
Plus! These crostini are awfully festive, aren’t they? Red, white, and green! Christmas colors! Holiday party perfection! OK, enough with the exclamation points. Just freaking make these.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
½ cup dried cranberries or cherries
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (15-oz) container whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 baguette, thinly sliced
Freshly grated parmesan cheese (about ⅓ cup)
Heat the oil and butter together in a large skillet. Once hot, add the brussels with a little salt and cook until mostly tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the red pepper flakes, vinegar, and sugar and stir to mix well. Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the dried fruit and season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Allow mixture to cool.
While the brussels are cooking, place the ricotta in a food processor and process until very smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the olive oil and whip again for a minute or so. Season with salt and pepper. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve (unless you’re making it really in advance – keep it in the fridge and let it come to room temperature again before serving).
Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Line up the baguette slices in an even layer on the sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden and crispy. Allow to cool slightly.
Top each cooled slice with a couple tablespoons of the whipped ricotta and then finish with a scoop of the brussels mixture. Finish each with a grating of parmesan cheese and serve.
All the components for these crostini can be prepped completely ahead. Assemble as close to serving time as possible to prevent the bread from getting soggy. These toasts are great slightly warm or at room temperature.