My husband and I have different packing personalities. First, I need a clean apartment, you know, before I wreck sections of it at a time. Then I need to go through every single thing we own before any of it gets packed and determine whether it should stay or does it need to go. I cannot stand the thought of moving, well, useless baggage to a new and supposedly clean slate of an apartment. Then each box has to have a separate topic; if desk stuff gets in with book stuff, I get itchy and start pacing the floor. How does Alex pack? Oh, he puts stuff in boxes until everything’s packed. I probably don’t need to tell you who is better at getting the job done.
My method doesn’t just apply to boxes. I need to feel like my life is, like, totally in order before breaking it down and taping it up. I realized when I talked about braising artichokes last week that I hadn’t even told you about revisiting my favorite quick party food starring them and people, I cannot pack another box until I get this off my obviously very disorganized plate. (Like I said, good thing I’m married to someone with no such packing hang-ups.)
I briefly mentioned these crostini over two years ago, in what I swear up and down is the worst photo on this entire site. I can’t even look at it. I had no choice but to make it again — also because it is delicious — when we had people over in January. You can make it from things in a well-stocked pantry: a can of artichoke hearts, some capers, a jar or can of good green olives, a clove of garlic and olive oil. It couldn’t be easier and although the hideous shade of green has taunted me in these photos too, it’s so not the point. This stuff is addictive and when you put it out with toasted slices of baguette that have been rubbed with a halved garlic clove, people will ignore almost anything else on the table. You know, until you bust out the gougeres.
One year ago: Spring Panzanella
Two years ago: Artichoke, Cranberry Bean and Arugula Salad
Adapted from Mario Batali
In addition for making great crostini, we tossed some of the leftover paste with pasta for dinner that next night and it was delicious. I think it would be especially good in a cold pasta dish, like a salad.
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 cup large green pitted olives
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and drained
1 15-ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 large slices of crusty bread
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In a food processor, process the garlic, olives, capers, artichoke hearts and olive oil to a coarse paste.
2. Toast the bread on the oven rack for 6 minutes, or until crisp and browned. Spread the olive paste thickly over the toasts and serve.
Do ahead: The olive paste can be refrigerated for 2 days. Let it return to room temperature before using.