antipasti buffet for twelve - bruschetta vs. crostini
I'm hosting a dinner party for my husband's birthday and I thought it would be fun to have a big buffet of antipasti, and then sit down for a second course of lasagne and salad. The only problem is, we keep inviting more people and now I'm losing confidence about whether or not I have the wherewithal to make fresh bruschetta for twelve people. I keep picturing myself stuck in a hot kitchen, toasting, rubbing garlic, spraying olive oil everywhere, while hungry people watch me with giant eyes. So, I thought crostini, which I could toast ahead and then spread with toppings at the last minute... but HOW do I toast ahead? Do I brush with olive oil? Rub with garlic? Should I heat up the toasts before serving? Also I live in a place where baguettes (the preferred crostini bread) are not available. Can I use big, round loaves of sourdough instead?
Finally, I have to work Saturday morning, which means most of the food will need to be made ahead of time. So far, I'm planning to serve:
-chickpea and carrot salad
-roasted peppers, tomatoes with fresh mozzarella
-prosciutto and salami with pickled onions
-frittata (will need to be made day of)
Are there any other suggestions for make-ahead antipasti items? I was thinking of making a lentil salad, but perhaps it's too bean heavy.
I would make crostini instead of bruschetta. Where do you live such that you can't get baguettes?! I wouldn't use sourdough but a plain country loaf or french bread instead. Cut slices in half or quarters if too large. Don't cut too thick; brush on a little EVOO. Lay on baking sheet in one layer and toast at 450F til edges have browned, around 5 min. Make sure to not get distracted since I'm notorious for burning bread in this situation!!! You can rub on garlic if it will go w/ your topping(s).
I would toast no more than an hour in advance if possible. If left too long, they will get kinda stale and hard. I wouldn't add anymore work for yourself w/ more antipasti; maybe just a bowl of store-bought olives.
re: Carb Lover
Thanks for your advice. I live in Beijing where the Germans have made inroads into the local bread supply but not the French.... so, no good baguettes here yet, but a quick way to make a fortune would be to open a boulangerie!
after much, much deliberation, I've decided to give up the bruschetta/crostini idea. Our oven sucks here and I need it to concentrate on heating up the lasagna.
But I will use your recipe to make crostini during the week with the leftover antipasti!