Golden and crisp, crostini make for a stunning appetizer to pass around when topped with a few mouthwatering and colorful ingredients. My crostini recipe features tender and juicy slices of marinated grilled flank steak, grilled cherry tomatoes, plus an avocado-lime salsa for bright, south-of-the-border flair!
An Appetizer with Deliciously Endless Possibilities
When my hubs and I are in the mood to kick back and relax with a couple of cocktails or a nice glass of wine at the end of our week, and I'd like to serve us something unique and delicious to nibble on as an accompaniment, crostini often make an appearance.
Crostini, which translates to “little crusts” in Italian, are toasted or grilled slices of rustic bread that serve as golden, crunchy vessels to spoon fresh, vibrant toppings over and enjoy in just a few bites.
We love a good crostini appetizer, because the options are absolutely endless when it comes to what to spoon over top...
Some favorite toppings are diced tomatoes, basil and olive oil, or perhaps even some garlicky sauteed mushrooms.
When I prepare a cheese ball or my delectable whipped goat cheese spread, I often like to serve crostini on the side of that as well, to offer a crunchy base to the rich, flavorful cheese.
But one of our all-time favorite crostini recipes to enjoy is this crostini with grilled steak, prepared with lime and spice marinated slices of grilled flank steak, grilled cherry tomatoes for sweet-tangy flavor, plus an absolutely out-of-this-world avocado-lime salsa for the bright pop of color and zesty flavor.
How To Make Crostini with Grilled Steak and Avocado-Lime Salsa
When it comes to choosing the best kind of bread to use to prepare crostini, the more rustic the better.
Typically, I like to use a classic French baguette and slice that on the bias so that the crostini have slightly pointed ends for shape. A French baguette creates the smaller crostini for an appetizer that is just a few bites, which is ideal.
One can also use a crusty ciabatta loaf or country loaf. And if it's a wider type of loaf, it can be cut in half length-wise and then sliced across to create crostini.
As long as the bread is crusty and rustic, the texture of crostini will be light and crisp, which makes it a perfect vehicle for your favorite topping.
For my recipe here, I'm opting for a French baguette which I slice into twelve pieces, then very lightly brush each with olive oil, and toast directly over the flame on my gas burner until charred or golden brown.
If you prefer, you can certainly toast your crostini on a baking sheet in the oven (after brushing the slices with oil) until golden and toasted.
For added flavor, I rub a garlic clove over each crostini before adding my toppings—so divine!
Here's a sneak peek at how I make my crostini with grilled steak: (or just jump to the full recipe...)
- To get started, I marinate my flank steak for about 20 minutes.
- While the steak marinates, I prepare my easy avocado-lime salsa and keep that covered and chilled in the fridge until I'm ready to use as my topping.
- Next, I brush each of my 12 slices of French baguette very lightly with olive oil, then using tongs, I hold each over the flame of my gas burner for a few moments until each side is charred and toasted.
- Once the bread is toasted and charred, I rub a garlic clove over each crostini for flavor.
- Next, I grill my marinated flank steak until medium-rare, and slice against the grain into small, thin strips.
- In the same grill pan, I add my halved cherry tomatoes and grill those cut-side down for a few seconds, just until charred and juicy.
- To assemble the crostini, add some of the grilled steak over top, followed by some of the avocado-lime salsa, followed by half of a grilled cherry tomato (you can spoon the remaining tomatoes and avocado-lime salsa into ramekins for folks to spoon over top if they desire extra), and place onto a platter.
- To serve, I sprinkle on some cracked pepper and salt, and serve warm.
Crostini with Grilled Steak
by Ingrid Beer
This crostini appetizer with grilled flank steak, cherry tomatoes and avocado-lime salsa is delectable to pass around for a special gathering!
Yield: 12 crostini
Nutrition Info: 175 calories per crostini
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
- ¾ to 1 pound (roughly) flank steak
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- ½ teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- Olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, divided use (1 pressed, 1 whole clove)
- 1 French baguette, sliced on the bias into 12 slices
- 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Avocado-Lime Salsa Ingredients:
- 1 ½ avocados, diced very finely
- ¼ red onion, diced very finely
- 1 jalapeno, cored and seeded, and diced very finely
- ½ cup cilantro leaves (loosely packed), finely chopped
- 1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- Olive oil
- Cracked black pepper
- Begin by gathering and prepping all of your crostini ingredients according to the crostini ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To marinate your flank steak, place it into a large bowl or onto a large platter, and add the lime zest, the cracked black pepper, a good pinch or two of salt, the ground cumin, the pinch of cayenne pepper, about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the lime juice and the 1 clove of pressed garlic, and rub the marinade into the meat. Allow it to sit for at least 20 minutes.
- Gather and prep all of your avocado-lime salsa ingredients according to the salsa ingredient list above to have ready and organized for use.
- To prepare your avocado-lime salsa, place all of the ingredients up to and including the lime zest into a bowl. Drizzle in about 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and a few pinches of salt and pepper, and gently fold the ingredients together. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use.
- To toast the baguette slices, drizzle or brush them lightly with some olive oil and sprinkle over a pinch of salt and black pepper. Toast the slices by holding each slice over the flame of a gas burner with a pair of tongs for several moments, until lightly golden and slightly “charred”. Repeat until all slices are toasted and charred. (Alternately, you can just toast the slices by placing them onto a foil-lined baking sheet and into a 400° oven for a few minutes until golden-brown).
- Once toasted, rub each crostini lightly with the remaining whole garlic clove to gently perfume it. Set the crostini aside for a moment.
- To grill the steak, place a large grill pan over high heat. Once the pan is very hot, add a drizzle of olive oil to it, and add the flank steak in, grilling the steak for about 4 minutes on the first side and about 3-4 minutes on the second side, for medium-rare.
- Place the grilled steak onto a large plate or platter (leave the grill pan on), and allow it to stand for about 10 minutes before slicing. After 10 minutes, slice the flank steak very thinly on the bias, against the grain for a tender result; set the meat aside for a moment.
- Grill the cherry tomato halves by adding them, cut-side down, into the hot grill pan for just about 30 seconds, or until lightly charred and softened. Place them onto a plate to hold until assembly.
- To assemble the crostini, add several thin slices of the grilled flank steak to each, then top with a spoonful of the avocado-lime salsa, and one half of a grilled cherry tomato. Place onto a platter and sprinkle with an additional twist of fresh cracked black pepper and salt, to garnish.
- Serve the remaining charred cherry tomato halves in a little ramekin on the side, and serve the remainder of the avocado-lime salsa in a little ramekin on the side, as well, if someone would like extra.
Tips & Tidbits for my Crostini with Grilled Steak recipe:
- Best bread for making crostini: I opt for a classic French baguette sliced on the bias into 12 slices for my recipe here, but any rustic and crusty bread will work fine. You can use ciabatta or a country loaf, even a sour dough baguette for added tangy flavor.
- Flank steak for tender, juicy slices: I love flank steak for preparations like this, because it takes on the flavors of the marinade deliciously, and yields nice, tender results when grilled to medium-rare doneness. Ribeye steak or fillet mignon are also very tender and delicious options. When slicing your steak, take care to cut against the grain so the meat is not chewy.
- Fresh cherry tomatoes, instead of grilled: I like to quickly grill the cherry tomato halves so that they're warmed through and extra sweet and juicy, but you can skip this step, if you prefer. Just slice each cherry tomato in half, in that case, and top the crostini.
- Good quality store-bought guacamole, in a pinch: You can opt for good quality store-bought guacamole instead of preparing the avocado-lime salsa if you're on a time crunch and would like to streamline things. Maybe add an extra squeeze of lime juice to your store-bought version, perhaps extra chopped cilantro—just make sure it has lots of flavor.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally published in 2013, and has been updated with even more love!