Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cream Cheese Crostini with Prosciutto and Tapenade

Looking for a simple, no-cook party appetizer that’s big on flavor and looks pretty too? Here it is—sweet cream cheese, salty prosciutto, and a quick tapenade of crushed olives and capers with fresh herbs.

Tapenades—traditionally made with black olives and capers—often include other ingredients such as anchovies, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, or vinegar. Here, I went with a few basic ingredients and added a floral essence with fresh mint. Give the tapenade some time to stand at room temperature, then you’re ready to top the bread and serve.

Makes 15-18 crostini

  • 1 6-oz can good-quality pitted black olives, finely chopped (about 1 packed cup when chopped)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped drained capers
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp finely chopped mint
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 15-18 1/3-inch slices of baguette, lightly toasted
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto, 3- to 4 oz (about 10 inches long), cut into 15-18 strips
Capers and Olives 
Chopped Olives and Capers
Sliced Baguette
Slice Lengthwise, then into Shorter Strips
  1. Combine the olives, olive oil, and capers in a bowl. Use a pestle (or back of a spoon) to crush the ingredients to form a coarse paste.
  2. Stir in the vinegar and mint and season with salt and pepper. (Light on the salt—there’s plenty in the olives and capers). Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Lay the toasted baguette slices on a work surface and spread each with cream cheese (about 1-1/2 teaspoons each).
  4. Place 1 strip of prosciutto (in ribbon-like folds) on top of each. Divide the tapenade on top. (There may be leftover.)

Mash to a Coarse Paste 
Bread Topped with Prosciutto and Tapenade
Arrange the crostini on a platter and serve.

Cream Cheese Crostini with Prosciutto and Tapenade

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