Evidently it is. My search for good breads in Calcutta has taken me all over the place. There are few good bakeries here and even they seem to concentrate on variants of garlic bread and foccacia. Spencers at Quest Mall for a very brief while tended to stock on baguettes but that too has been withdrawn because of lack of consumerism. These are the times I feel like stamping my foot on the ground and crying out loud. But what you can’t cure you have to endure. My quest for artisan bread did not end at Quest so I had to make do with a far inferior alternative.
This crostini (Italian for little toasts) had been on my agenda for quite a while. I was just waiting for the right kind of bread, but since that was evidently not going to happen I resorted to a loaf of multigrain bread and paid extra attention to the creamy, sweet and salty topping to make up for the lack of crunch in the base.
Makes 4-5 crostinis
Multigrain bread: 4-5 slices (Use any kind of crusty bread like baguette or ciabatta if you can, I didn’t get them, hence multigrain)
Peas: 1.5 cups (frozen and thawed or fresh and boiled)
Salami slices: 8-10 (you can obviously use bacon instead of salamis!)
Mint leaves, chopped: 4 tbsp (plus for garnish)
Cream cheese: 100 gm
Dried apricots, chopped finely: 3 tbsp
Almonds, chopped finely: 2 tbsp
Lime juice: of 1 lime
Lime zest; of 1 lime
Extra virgin Olive Oil: 1-2 tbsp
Garlic, minced: 1.5 tsp
Sea salt: to taste
Black pepper powder: to taste
1. In a bowl mix the chopped dried apricot and almond bits into the cream cheese. Set aside. (You can very well keep this step and use plain cream cheese or even herbed ones. I did it for a little amount of crunch)
2. In a blender throw the peas, 1/3 amount of the cream cheese, lime juice and zest, olive oil, garlic, chopped mint leaves, salt and pepper. Blitz for a very brief while a couple of times till some of your peas have turned mushy, some are coarse and others hold shape. We want a little texture in our pea layer, not a smooth puree.
3. Toast/grill your bread slices. Now first spread a layer of the remaining cream cheese on the bread, top it up with a layer of the pea filling and finally plonk a couple of salamis on it. Garnish with mint leaves and serve.
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