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Four Great Crostini
Four Great Crostini Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

We may not have the fever yet, but it’s high time to start dreaming of spring entertaining. Plus, it’s always wise to have a few great appetizers in your arsenal for when guests are headed your way. We’re firm believers that classic crostini--crispy toast with toppings--is the way to go. Here are our four favorites--all tiny nuggets of deliciousness. Most require little cooking, just assembly. Make the whole bunch for your next shindig and you may be crowned queen of the spring fling.

12 crostini

Crostini

¼ baguette

1 garlic clove, halved

Olive oil

Kosher salt

Salty Butter and Radish

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) Irish butter

6 radishes, cleaned, trimmed and sliced into thirds

Flaky sea salt (such as Maldon Sea Salt)

Baby BLT

6 tablespoons mayonnaise

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

6 sun-dried tomatoes, quartered

1 cup arugula

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 strips cooked bacon, cut into quarters

Zesty Ricotta Harissa

1 cup ricotta cheese

4 tablespoons harissa

1 tablespoon lemon juice

4 tablespoons lemon zest

Hot Pepper Jelly and Goat Cheese

⅓ cup hot pepper jelly

⅓ cup goat cheese

3 tablespoons chives

1. Make the Crostini: Cut the baguette into slices (see Finishing Touches). Rub one side of each slice with the garlic and brush lightly with olive oil. Season lightly with salt. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake in a 400° oven until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Cool completely.

2. Make the Salty Butter and Radish Crostini: Spread 1½ teaspoons of butter onto each crostini and top with a piece of radish. Sprinkle generously with flaky sea salt.

3. Make the Baby BLT Crostini: In a small bowl, whisk the mayonnaise with the black pepper to combine. Spread 1½ teaspoons onto each crostini and top with 2 pieces of sun-dried tomato. In a small bowl, toss the arugula with the olive oil, then place 1 to 2 tablespoons of dressed arugula on top of the tomatoes. Finish with a piece of bacon.

4. Make the Zesty Ricotta Harissa Crostini: In a small bowl, combine the ricotta with the harissa and lemon juice. Spread 2 tablespoons onto each crostini and top generously with lemon zest.

5. Make the Hot Pepper Jelly and Goat Cheese Crostini: Spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of jelly on each crostini, then top with a generous sprinkling of crumbled goat cheese. Garnish with chives.

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