Just like my own efforts at staying on a healthy eating regimen, we are taking a break from our wholesome habits to lapse into some great snack food. Sarah and Sheila from Gordy’s Pickle Jar have shared their three favorite toppings for crostini: Cherry Pepper Caponata, Pickled Egg Salad and Prosciutto, and Caramelized Pickled Jalapeño. I think these would make a unique entertaining spread full of flavors you don’t find every day. Though Sarah and Sheila are obviously partial to Gordy’s Pickles, we have provided substitutions so that you can make these recipes wherever you are. —Kristina
Why Sarah and Sheila love these recipes: We love putting stuff on toast!
Cherry Pepper Caponata Crostini
Makes 12 crostini
– 1 eggplant, diced
– 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
– 1 small sweet onion, minced
– 2 celery stalks, minced
– 4 garlic cloves, minced
– 4 plum tomatoes, chopped
– 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper (We use Gordy’s Pickle Jar Cherry Pepper Spread)
– 1 tablespoon capers, drained
– 1/8 cup white vinegar
– 1 baguette
– ¼ cup torn basil, plus more for garnish
– 4oz goat cheese
1. In a bowl, toss the diced eggplant with 2 tablespoons salt and put in a colander. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Rinse eggplant with water and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and celery. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Remove from skillet and set aside.
3. Using the same skillet, wipe the pan with a paper towel and add 2 more tablespoons olive oil and turn heat on high. Heat oil until smoking, then add eggplant and let cook uninterrupted for 2 minutes. Repeat this step twice, adding additional oil and cooking for 2 minutes without stirring to allow eggplant to sear and brown well.
4. Add the onion and celery mixture, tomatoes, crushed red pepper or cherry pepper spread, and the capers and stir to mix well. Add the vinegar and cook an additional 10 minutes until the eggplant is softened.
5. Meanwhile, slice the baguette into 12 ½-inch slices and toast until golden brown.
6. Remove eggplant mixture from heat and let cool to room temperature. Mix in basil and stir well to combine.
7. Divide and spread about 1 tablespoon of fresh goat cheese on each crostino. Top each crostino with a spoonful of caponata. Garnish with fresh basil and serve.
Pickled Egg Salad and Prosciutto Crostini
Makes 12 crostini
– 8 hard-boiled eggs
– 1 baguette, thinly sliced
– 3 tablespoons sweet pickle relish (We use 8 Gordy’s Pickle Jar Sweet Chips, minced)
– 1 teaspoon salt
– ½ cup mayonnaise (we prefer Dukes)
– 6 slices prosciutto, sliced in half
– 1 small bunch chives, cut thin
1. In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a gentle boil. Carefully place eggs in boiling water and cook on high heat for 10-11 minutes. Remove from heat and carefully empty hot water, leaving eggs in the saucepan. Rinse under cold running water for 2 minutes. Let stand for at least 5 minutes. Peel eggs and then slice.
2. Meanwhile, prepare toast. Slice baguette into 12 ¼-inch slices and toast until golden brown. Set aside.
3. While the baguette slices toast, remove pickled Sweet Chips from brine and mince. Set aside. (If you’re using relish, you can skip this step.)
4. Put egg slices in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add mayonnaise and salt. Pulse again to combine.
5. Using a small spatula, scoop mixture out into a bowl. Then fold in minced pickles or relish.
6. Place crostini on a serving tray. Evenly spread 1 tablespoon of egg mixture over each crostino. Place ½ piece of prepared prosciutto onto each crostino. Garnish with chives and serve.
Caramelized Pickled Jalapeños Crostini
Makes 12 pieces
– 1 1/2 cups pickled jalapeños (We use one 12oz jar of Gordy’s Pickle Jar Thai Basil Jalapeños)
– 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
– 3 tablespoons sugar
– 1 baguette, sliced
– 4oz soft goat cheese
1. Measure out pickled jalapeños, making sure to discard any brine (or drain a 12oz jar of Gordy’s Pickle Jar Thai Basil Jalapeños and set aside jalapeños, saving the brine for future use as a salad dressing or gimlet martini).
2. Heat a medium sized skillet on medium-high heat. Add the butter and melt until bubbling. Cook for 1-2 minutes until browned. Then add the sugar and let cook another 1-2 minutes until the two are combined.
3. Add the jalapeños to the hot skillet and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes until the jalapeños begin to slightly wilt.
4. Slice the baguette into 12 ½-inch slices and toast until golden brown.
5. Place the crostini on a serving tray and divide jalapeños evenly, using about 4-5 pieces per crostino. Adorn each crostino with a few goat cheese crumbles and serve immediately.
About Sarah and Sheila: Sarah Gordon and Sheila Fain are the co-owners of Gordy’s Pickle Jar. Established in 2011, their award-winning pickle company has been featured in Food & Wine, People Magazine, Southern Living, Martha Stewart Living and other notable publications. Each thoughtfully designed recipe is responsibly produced and hand packed in Washington, D.C. with a focus on craftsmanship and sustainability. Follow along on Instagram at @gordyspicklejar