Sunday, 16 December 2012

Pomegranate Salsa Crostini

 Looking for a showstopper appetizer this holiday season?  You just found it!  Perfect for your next family gathering or even New Years Eve party.  Not only do they look festive, they taste mighty fine as well.  All the components can be made in advance, making for a quick assemble when your guests arrive.  I travelled to two different parties with these in tow and putting it together took about five minutes.

Pomegranate seeds tossed with shallots, dried cranberries and balsamic vinegar combine to make a crunchy, sweet, tart bite.  The salsa takes very little time to put together.  The most time consuming tasks are seeding the pomegranate and the hands off time of marinating the shallot.  You can make the salsa up to a day in advance.  Pretty easy eh?

Now, this is the part where I start to take up a little bit more of your time.  You could serve these on a pre-made crostini.  You could also use a pre-made ricotta.  Unfortunately, what elevates these to amazing is those two steps.  Homemade ricotta is very simple and almost entirely hands off.  I've linked to my favourite recipe below, which is made in about two hours time.  The crostini toast up in about 15min and take only a few minutes to cool.
 We've tried these crostini with a few salty olives chopped up and added in too.  It takes it into true adult fare with that addition.  I also wonder if a little bit of fresh hot pepper diced in would work too.  As is, they are perfect for any crowd, including children and picky adults.  I guarantee they will be an empty plate at any party you're attending.

Pomegranate Salsa Crostini

adapted from Thermador

1 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 shallot diced
1 lemon juiced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp agave syrup
3 Tbsp fresh parsley chopped
1 Tbsp orange zest
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup fresh ricotta (recipe here )

Place diced shallot in a small bowl with lemon juice.  Set aside for approx 1hr.
Combine pomegranate seeds, cranberries, oil, vinegar, agave, orange zest and salt.  Add drained shallot and parsley right before serving.
Preheat oven to 350degrees.  Slice a baguette into 1/2" slices.  Brush each side with olive oil and place on baking sheet.  Bake on each side until golden brown; about 10min each side.
To assemble:
Spread a thin layer of ricotta on top of each crostini.  Top each slice with salsa.

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