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Crostini and bruschette can be made in many variations. Tangy-buttery créme fraîche lightens this savory bite.
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush both sides of the bread slices with olive oil, and place them on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden. Cool completely.
2. Preheat the broiler and position the broiler rack 6in (15cm) from the source of heat. Broil the pancetta for about 5 minutes until crisp on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Cut into thin strips.
3. Mix the créme fraîche with the mustard, the capers, the lemon zest, and juice, and black pepper to taste.
4. Place the bread slices on a serving plate, spread with the créme fraîche mixture, and top with strips of smoked salmon, pieces of pancetta, and chives to garnish.
Classic Italian Crostini
Remove the smoked salmon, replace the créme fraîche mixture with slices of fresh mozzarella, and use fresh basil instead of chives. Brush the bread slices with garlic and olive oil, then lightly pepper the mozzarella. Place a piece of basil on each piece of mozzarella, then wrap it in half a slice of prosciutto. Place the crostini under the broiler for 3–5 minutes, until the cheese melts.
The bread slices can be baked up to 2 hours ahead. The créme fraîche mixture can be made 24 hours in advance. Assemble the crostini just before serving.
Pancetta is widely available from delicatessens and supermarkets, but if you cannot find any, use thinly sliced bacon instead. Prepared horseradish can be used instead of mustard; the flavor goes very well with the salmon and pancetta.
Nutrients per serving (% daily value)
Nutritional information is based on 12 servings.