Here's what you need: (All measurements are approximate, as you really don't need to measure anything).
1 baguette, sliced on the diagonal
A few big garlic cloves, smashed
1 cup (or so) artichoke hearts from a jar, drained and buzzed up in a food processor or blender (Either marinated or plain; doesn't really matter)
1 container baby arugula, washed and spun dry
Prepared Horseradish cream
Parmesan cheese curls
I buy mega jars like this at Costco.
I like the pre-washed arugula. Saves me time.
Leftover beef. It's what's for dinner.
We could get all fancy schmancy here, grate our own horseradish, mix it with creme freche, etc., but that's not the point. We're going for easy, fast, and delicious.
And for the love of All That Is Holy, use real Parmesan cheese! (Or Manchego, or Pecorino,those would be delicious as well). Nothing from a can will do in this appetizer, or any other food for that matter, justice.
Here's how it's done:
- Toast up the bread. Both sides. I used my grill pan on top of the stove to get pretty grill marks. No grill pan? No grill? No problem. Put the bread slices on a sheet pan and broil for about 2 minutes on each side. Do not turn your back on the bread. Do not answer the phone, check your Email, or let the dog out. Your bread will burn as soon as you turn your back. It's a cosmic rule of nature. Trust me on this.
- Smash the garlic cloves with the side of a big knife. Rub the clove all over one side of the toasted bread. Do this to all of the bread slices. Then...
- Spread a thin layer of buzzed up artichoke hearts on each slice of bread. This will give the arugula something to stick to.
- Lay a handful of arugula on each of the bread slices.
- Lightly salt and heavily pepper. Freshly ground, please.
- Top each toast with some slices of beef. (Getting the picture? This is the assembly line at it's best. Better yet, recruit some help).
- Top the beef with a dollop of horseradish.
- Top each toast with parmesan cheese curls. Use your vegetable peeler. Makes them pretty.
- If you have the time and the desire, you could heat these up in a warm oven (say, 350 degrees) for a few minutes. But it's not necessary.
- Place the crostini on a platter, sprinkle arugula over the whole tray, along with some sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
- Prepare your thank you speech. Once your guests stop drooling and chewing, they'll thank you.