Cathy’s Kitchen Prescription LLC
Move over polenta and make room for teff! Both gluten-free grains congeal upon cooling, which makes them perfect candidates for crostini. Sliced and pan-toasted they become delightful crispy thin slabs with soft interiors that make tasty foundations for any crostini toppings you like.
Shown here with roasted mini bell peppers and fresh thyme, roasted cherry tomatoes and capers, blanched French beans over sautéed mushrooms.
Teff Cooking time 20 minutes to make a porridge + 1 hour to cool + 20 minutes to pan toast
Toppings Prep time 45 minutes Cooking time 45 minutes
Makes 20-40 crostini, depending on dimensions
1 cup brown or white whole teff grains
3 cups water
2 Tablespoons vegetable powder, no-salt OR 3 Tablespoons chopped dehydrated mixed veggies, no-salt
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
2 Tablespoons shiro (white) miso powder • (optional)
2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 Tablespoon capers
2 cups mini bell peppers, cored
Fresh thyme leaves
2 cups French beans
1 Tablespoon Aleppo pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon dehydrated onion flakes
2 cups cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, diced
Splash of dry white wine
1 clove garlic, minced
Sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon porcini mushroom powder
Grinds of black pepper
Miso powder to taste (optional)
• Miso is a good salt alternative that helps to lower blood pressure. You can purchase miso powder online or make it yourself if you have a dehydrator: Spread miso paste thinly on nonstick sheets and dehydrate at 108°F, 42°C for 24-28 hours or until completely dehydrated, then run in a food processor or blender to create a powder. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5313421/#:~:text=Miso%2C%20which%20is%20made%20from,%2C%20including%20salt%2Dsensitive%20hypertension).
•• Hint! Don’t restrict yourself to these toppings; use whatever veggies you have on hand, blanched, sautéed, or chopped in a raw salsa. With crostini, your only limitation is your imagination!
Add raw teff to a saucepan. Heat over medium frame for 5 minutes or so, stirring, or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Add 3 cups boiling water and then seasonings, lower to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally but with increasingly frequency as it thickens.
When fairly dense for still able to pour, pour teff into a rectangular pyrex food storage container and smooth top with an angled icing spatula. Alternatively, pour onto a large wood board, squaring edges with a flat edge and smoothing the top as it cools.
Place in the fridge for an hour or so to accelerate its cooling.
When it is fully congealed and cold, run a knife around the perimeter if you used a pyrex container, and invert, or use a wet knife, cleaning it with every cut. Or, as they do in Italy, use a piece of wire to slice evenly and cleanly. Cut the crostini into the size you prefer. Set aside as you prepare your toppings.
In a 425°F/218°C oven, roast tomatoes, cut side up, for 30 minutes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or until partially dehydrated and slightly crispy on their edges. Cool. Pulse in a food processor. Stir in capers. Set aside.
In a 350°F/176°C oven, roast mini peppers for about 30 minutes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet or until they begin to soften and collapse and are lightly toasted. Cool. Pulse in a food processor to chop uniformly. Stir in fresh thyme leaves. Set aside.
Blanch French beans for 8-10 minutes in boiling water or until tender crisp, then plunge immediately in ice water to brighten color and halt cooking. Drain. Cut in fine slices. Stir in dehydrated onion and Aleppo pepper flakes.
Heat a skillet. Add onion and thyme sprigs. Dry sauté for a few minutes until they soften and begin to carmelize. When they adhere to the pan, deglaze with wine, scraping up the carmelized sugars from the pan. Add garlic and cremini, stirring, and sauté for 10 minutes or until they cook and release their liquid. Season with porcini and miso powders and black pepper to taste. Set aside.
Compose the Crostini
Preheat nonstick skillet(s) for 5 minutes over medium heat. Add teff slabs and cook for 5 minutes on each side, flipping to toast evenly and develop a crust.
Serve warm, topped with your warmed or room-temp toppings, and watch them quickly disappear.
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