Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! I am so excited to share this delicious, versatile and easy recipe with all of you! It is a recipe that can be served for an appetizer, side dish with a salad, breakfast item or even a snack!
The secret ingredient here is fennel seed. I highly recommend you try it every single time you use sausage. The fennel seed pairs perfectly with the sausage, and gives your dish the perfect finishing touch.
Sausage and Mozzarella Crostini
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, August 2nd 2015 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Simple appetizer to serve for entertaining…
I love simple and easy appetizers that can be stretched and served with a big salad to compliment a meal. Sometimes, I actually make a meal of just the appetizers. And why not? Try a little of this – a little of that… It really gives you a chance to try the flavors and flavor combinations of a lot of different things all at once. So many appetizers can be difficult to make, so I wanted to create something that could be whipped up even last minute if need be, something memorable and something delicious.
Crostini, according to my research, is an Italian appetizer that contains a small slice of grilled or toasted bread, which is topped with different flavor combinations of toppings. I’ve had Crostini before, and there have always been a lot of ingredients involved. I wanted to create something that wouldn’t use many ingredients, yet still have optimal flavor. I decided to use sausage and mozzarella cheese. They compliment each other perfectly, and with the additional fennel seeds added to the sausage, the flavor is phenomenal! And here’s a tip – whenever you use sausage, add a little fennel seed. It really brings out the flavor of the sausage and really adds to the finished dish.
Sausage and Mozzarella Crostini
This fun and flavorful appetizer can be made in a variety of ways, and is very versatile. Use shredded cheddar cheese instead of shredded mozzarella cheese, add a little sliced tomato to the tops of each, use a milder sausage, use fresh basil or even experiment with using tomato sauce, or even different types of bread. Make a variety of each for your guests, and have fun! Experiment with flavors and textures. These are also ideal when paired with a salad, for the perfect light lunch. Once these are finished baking, and once removed from the oven, feel free to drizzle a little more olive oil over the tops for richness.
1 pound hot sausage
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, finely crushed
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
½ French baguette, sliced (about 20 slices)
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a large baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
Place the slices of baguette bread on the prepared baking sheet, and drizzle each piece of bread with a little olive oil.
In a medium sized bowl, combine the hot sausage with the finely crushed fennel seeds and mix until the seeds are blended with the sausage.
Next, spread the sausage evenly over each slice of bread.
Sprinkle the tops of each with the shredded mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven for exactly 20 minutes.
Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.