Consumers tastes are changing, and with millennials as a key target market for the restaurant industry, their preferences are reshaping the food service industry. These particular customers prefer quality, high-protein meals and snacks that offer nutritional value.
The increased popularity of the Keto and Paleo diets has further changed the kind of menu options that restaurants are innovating across America. Are you updating your menu to reflect some of these important shifts toward higher protein appetizers too? If you are thinking about it, allow us to share some delicious inspiration to get you started.
Adding Creative Crostini to Your Restaurant Menu
In Italian, the word ‘crostini’ means ‘little toasts’. And when it comes to choosing the right bread for your crostini, most Chefs recommend a baguette or ciabatta. The bread needs to have a constitution that will stand up to whatever garnishes you want to place on top (without getting soggy). Pretzel bread is also another nice choice, to vary up the textures and the colors on the plate.
Crostini bread should be sliced about ¼ inches thick, and then toasted. There are two ways to do this, depending on what kind of toppings and flavors you want to pile on top. The traditional crostini are brushed with an olive oil and garlic seasoning, and then toasted in the oven until it is medium brown. Another method is to deep fry the crostini for about half a minute, which provides a different texture and a hardy base for juicy meat and vegetable toppings.
There is a little bit of fun history that dates back to the medieval ages in Italy. It was developed as a peasant food, as the poor working class could not afford the luxury of plates. Instead, they toasted bread and placed a combination of vegetables and meats on top, and each crostini was served in a large portion as a complete meal.
Today, the crostini in a restaurant setting is dainty. It is not meant to be served on large pieces of bread, but rather as an elegant finger food and appetizers, après diner (before dinner). A menu of crostini appetizers is perfect for establishments that serve wine and spirits, as they are a healthy and satisfying small meal that can be enjoyed with drinks.
How to Serve a Meat Crostini as an Appetizer Single Serving or Group Platter
If you are thinking about adding crostini to your appetizer menu, you will want to add at least three different options. We recommend providing a vegetarian option for flexitarian diets, and then two different meat varieties, that will cater to customers who want to start their meal with a high-protein appetizer.
Because of the small size of a crostini appetizer, you want to pack as many layers of flavor as possible to create a delicious two to three bite serving. That flavor creativity starts with the treatment of the bread used for the crostini; many establishments provide a fresh herb and organic olive oil base before toasting and adding their toppings.
You want to create a sensational and uncommon flavor experience, with each different crostini you serve on a platter (for groups) or a 2-3 crostini individual serving. Plating crostini the right way means a variety of flavors or types of combinations on each piece of toasted bread.
Wagyu beef is uncommon; it’s not available in every grocery store, and the price can be prohibitive for most consumers to eat it on a regular basis. However, tender sliced Wagyu or a premium Wagyu ground beef preparation garnished with grilled peppers? That’s something your customers would definitely want to try.
What are some of the best garnishes to try on a crostini?
- Grilled pears and Wagyu beef
- Tender grilled beef slices, with jalapeno and fresh blueberries.
- Beet hummus (its colorful!) ground sausage and fresh basil.
- White meat turkey with fresh mango and red pepper jelly.
- Blue cheese crumbled fresh dates and Wagyu beef.
Now that we’ve made you hungry to try some creative options for your restaurant, we’d like to share some of the amazing recipes we found online, with some uncommon but delicious layers of flavor, featuring healthy protein rich meat. Get ready for some great recipe suggestions you can try on your menu.
Delicious Meat Crostini Ideas from our Team at Miami Beef®
Making creative and succulent crostini’s part of your appetizer menu is a great way to draw in the ‘app crowd’ to your restaurant. The customers who want to enjoy a few delicious appetizers with their friends (and a few beverages) during the big game, or for after-work social.
When we are looking for some new recipe inspiration, the first place we look is to food bloggers. We bookmark some of the most innovative amateur chefs who share tasty recipes with new spins on traditional favorites. We’ve gathered a few of those suggestions for you to try.
Beef Crostini with Horseradish Spread
This recipe is easy to prepare, economical and packed full of complimenting flavors when you start with tender cooked beef slices. Horseradish and beef are like peas and carrots, they are meant to go together because the combination is mouth-wateringly good.
The food bloggers at A Family Feast share this great recipe and chose to garnish with caramelized onions. Want to kick it up a notch? Try using a bourbon or wine sauce to sauté the onions for an extra level of tasty.
Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Goats Cheese and Pesto
Talk about delicious! The medium rare grilled beef tenderloin sits on top of a spread of softened and whipped goat cheese, with a small dollop of fresh pesto on top. It is elegant, full of rich complimenting flavors, and satisfying.
Get this great recipe from the food bloggers at Domesticate Me.
Sausage, Kale & Gruyere Pretzel Bread Crostini
Browned ground sausage meat on top of a toasted two-bite sized piece of pretzel bread, on a bed of prepared garlic kale and topped with Gruyere. It’s uptown, but also healthy and delicious and recipe you may want to try in your own kitchen. Get the how-to from Wry Toast Eats.
If you have some flavor suggestions, you would like to share with our team at Miami Beef® leave us a comment below. We love hearing from our customers and restaurant entrepreneurs about creative menu option.