Merry Christmas Eve Eve everyone! I hope you’re done with all your holiday shopping and are ready to enjoy the long weekend with your family and friends with good food, laughter, and lots of love.
Every year my future sister-in-law’s family throws an open house party on Christmas Eve. We’ve gone the last couple of years and have brought along with us bacon wrapped dates (that almost burned my parents’ house down), sausage pinwheels, and broccoli and grape pasta salad.
This year I’ll be bringing an appetizer that we had as lunch this Thanksgiving. A Brussels Sprout Crostini. (We made it lunch by using toasted Italian sandwich bread slices instead of crostini sized bread slices.) The day before Thanksgiving my husband and I were watching an episode of Giada’s Holiday Handbook on Food Network and she made a charred Brussels sprout crostini for a holiday cocktail party. We looked at each other and declared, “That looks good!”
I suggested we make that for lunch on Thanksgiving, but as sandwiches with some meat. (We weren’t having our traditional Thanksgiving Brussels Sprouts since it was a small gathering this year.) We immediately headed to the store and it was the best decision ever. I fried up some pancetta to provide a crunch factor (and protein) to the sandwiches and omitted the pine nuts. I also used red wine vinegar in place of champagne vinegar because I had 3 bottles of red wine vinegar in my pantry (that’s what happens when you forget you have red wine vinegar a couple of times…).
I will be bringing an appetizer-appropriate version to the party tomorrow and will add those photos to this post after Christmas. I plan to bring everything already prepared but not assembled, allowing people to make their own crostini as they wish.
Brussels Sprouts Crostini
- 1/4 C red wine vinegar
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1/3 C dried cranberries
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
- 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 C ricotta cheese
- 4 oz pancetta, cooked and crumbled
- 6 slices of thinly sliced Italian sandwich bread or 24 crostini
- In a small saucepan over medium heat combine the vinegar and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the cranberries. Allow the dressing to sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Preheat the broiler.
- Toss the sliced Brussels sprouts with 2 tbsp olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and broil for 6 minutes, stirring halfway through.
- Transfer Brussels sprouts to a bowl and toss with the dressing from Step 1. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix the remaining olive oil with the ricotta cheese. Season to taste with salt.
- Assemble crostini by spooning the ricotta mixture on the bread and topping with crumbled pancetta and the Brussels sprouts.
*This recipe is modified from Giada at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/charred-brussels-sprout-crostini.html*