You Won't Slave In The Kitchen With These Appetizers - Crusteons

The first time I came up with these was about 48 hours ago. I had an idea of combining small pitted black olives and garbanzo beans in an easy to make appetizer. Realizing that garbanzo beans had a propensity to be dry, they would soak up the moisture of the olives and as the saying goes, opposites attract, I would have a delicious morsel in my hands. Well, these two ingredients did not fail me and along with a few enhancers, I had come up with a wonderful tasty treat that I have decided to share with you. Oh, that first batch I made? I ate every one of them! Oink Oink.

OK, let's get started. We will need to get all of our ingredients together so here they are:

1 can of small black pitted olives, left whole
1 can of garbanzo beans
3 cloves of garlic, minced (that means tiny tiny pieces)
1/3 cup of parsley chopped
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 splashes of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of coarse ground black pepper
1 French Baguette, sliced in 1/2 inch thick slices
2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese

Did you notice there was one ingredient that I did not include? It was salt, because I think there is enough sodium in the ingredients to render this appetizer plenty flavorful; having said that, if you desire a bit more saltiness, you can add additional salt OR if you have anchovies, crush one up and add to the mixture.

Add 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese and all the other ingredients (except the bread) in a food processor with the chopping blade. Start with the garbanzo beans, then the olives, and finish up with the cheese at the top. Pulse chop until mixture has the consistency of what cooked ground beef for tacos looks like (do you get what I'm seeing?). You don't want to turn this into a puree or paste. Make sure all ingredients are well mixed together.

Now take a teaspoon and start spreading a liberal amount of the mixture on each of the slices of bread, making sure to pat it down so that the mixture doesn't fall off the sides. Once you've done that, sprinkle enough of the Parmesan cheese on each piece to cover completely (you may pat the cheese down a bit also). Place each of your slices on a cookie sheet and cook under the broiler in your oven for about 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and has golden brown peaks. Remove and set aside for a few minutes, plate, and then serve to your guests, along with a sweet vermouth and orange martini. If you don't consume alcohol, try a cocktail of clamato juice, a splash of club soda, and a lime twist, poured into a salt rimmed martini glass. Enjoy this appetizer I call Crusteon for it's crunchy, Southern European flavors. Bueno Appetito.

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