Monday, January 17, 2011

Rosemary Parmesan Crostini

The New York Times may have called this recipe a biscotti, but a biscotti it is not. Antonio Mattei would not approve. I'm re-branding this as a good crostini base instead. 
Rosemary Parmesan Crostini recipe from
I didn't intend for this post to be so much of a critique of a recipe, but it is what it is. Happens to every baker. Have you ever been thoroughly confused by a recipe? A biscotti with no sugar? Calls for an equal amount of egg whites and yolks? Walnuts instead of a more traditional pine nut, despite the Parmesan and rosemary? I accept that American biscotti is incredibly different than Antonio Mattei makes it (who I think of as the godfather of biscotti), and I do love a recipe renaissance, with new and inventive twists, BUT, I also have an issue with misnomered food. With this recipe the NYT strayed a bit too far and wound up with a an entirely different product. Biscuit, yes, but biscotti no.

That said, it's like most take out Chinese food. It's good food, just not good Chinese food. This recipe makes for a good biscuit, just not a good biscotti. I do however love it as a crostini base. So far I've been using it to go with a cream cheese and artichoke spread. (Tons of flavor!) It's also been a really great dipping bread for lemon flavored olive oil.

With all this said, I am now about to set out to make a more traditional rosemary-parmesan biscotti. The idea is just too good to let go.


Rosemary-Parmesan Crostini
As adapted from the New York Times

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
5 eggs
1/2 cup water
Olive oil spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, Parmesan, pepper, rosemary and pine nuts. Whisk together 4 of the eggs and the water. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Stir to combine.

Lightly flour your hands and a work surface; turn out the dough and knead until smooth. Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a 2 1/2-inch-thick log. Spray a baking sheet with the olive oil and place the dough logs on it. Whisk the remaining egg and brush it over the dough. Bake for 35 minutes.

Let cool for a few minutes and then cut the biscotti on the diagonal into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place on the baking sheet cut side down, using 2 pans if necessary. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and bake until browned, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely.


  1. This is the first time that I have ever heard of a savory biscotti but must agree that this is closer to a crostini. I am still learning what is what in the food world. Call it whatever you want as long as it tastes good. Yours definitely looks like it tates good!

  2. This sounds very flavorful. You really can't go wrong with rosemary in bread, in my opinion. It's definitely one of my favorite winter flavors.

  3. I am really on a rosemary kick at the moment. I actually have a plant in my backyard and it is still alive - somewhat of a miracle given my track record with plants. This looks good but I have to agree that it is not a biscotti. Still I wouldn't say no to a piece drizzled with some honey on top.

  4. super photo! you have my buzz for this.

  5. I couldn't live without recipes, but I hate when they claim something that seems to be total bogus. At least you've found a way to enjoy these biscuits, anyway! And your photo is great. :)

  6. Beautiful! The Crostini AND the photo!

  7. Beautiful crostini. It sounds delicious too.

  8. You are absolutely right! These are not biscotti but crostini and they do sound amazing with that rosemary parmesan combination!

  9. I'm with you about the misnomer...and it looks DELICIOUS!

  10. These "biscuits" look really good! I love making savory treats!

  11. This seems like it would make an amazing crostini base!

  12. Good job calling a spade a spade! I've taken to calling most "Asian" food Asian-inspired because it's usually not like any truly Asian food I've ever seen.

    That being said, your crostini looks fantastic. No matter what it is, I'd love a slice.


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