For one recent dinner party, I put together these fast, tasty bites of smoky red pepper spread on a couple of different conveyance methods to accommodate both gluten-free and gluten-ful friends. Honestly, I liked them just as much on the endive as on the crostini. Just leave off the chorizo for Veggie friends.
The inspiration for the goat cheese spread come from a delightful little book a friend gave me years ago—Mary Englebreit’s Let’s Party Cookbook— in which artichokes provide the flavor base rather than red peppers. I’ve made it that way many times and it’s also delicious. Either way, the leftovers (if you happen to have any) make a great sandwich spread.
If it seems too fussy to assemble all the crostini or endive spears, serve the spread in a bowl topped with the garnishes, and serve crackers, crostini, or veggies on the side.
Roasted Red Pepper Spread & Chorizo on Crostini or Endive Spears
1/3 cup chopped jarred roasted red peppers
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/8 tsp smoked paprika
salt, to taste
1/8 cup chorizo or salami sliced into slivers (optional)
2 Tbsp picked thyme
Crostini, crackers, or endive separated into spears (or a combination ) to serve
2. When ready to serve, line up your crostini, crackers or endive spears out on a baking sheet. Spread a small amount of the red pepper mixture on each piece. Sprinkle a few thyme leaves on each piece and top with 2 to 3 slivers of chorizo to finish, if using. Arrange on a platter and serve.
1. Cut French bread into small pieces—for this recipe, I aimed for pieces that were about the size of a melba toast.
2. Combine a clove or two of crushed garlic with olive oil or melted butter and a pinch of salt. Brush each piece with a little bit of the garlic mixture. (You could also lightly dip each piece into the mixture.)
3. Crisp the bread. You can do this by lightly toasting them in the toaster oven or in the oven at 350°F until light golden brown (4-5 minutes per side.) Or, grill them in a greased pan over medium-high until lightly charred and golden (approximately 2-3 minutes per side.)
Personally, I like the light char you get by grilling the bread in a pan with the smoky flavors in the spread and chorizo.