SERVES 6 AS AN ANTIPASTO
For Crostini Neri, Little Black Toasts, Nancy makes a chicken liver spread; this is the most classic Tuscan topping for crostini.
1/2 pound chicken livers
2 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 anchovy fillets, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup dry Tuscan vin santo or dry white wine
2 tablespoons chicken broth, beef broth or water
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed, drained, and chopped
Fresh squeezed lemon juice to taste
12 slices toasted bread
Pick over the chicken livers, cutting away any green spots and removing any tough bits of fiber. Rinse gently and briefly in a colander and set aside to drain.
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a sauté pan and when it is hot stir in the onions, garlic, and half the parsley and cook gently until the onion is soft and pale yellow, about 10 minutes. Stir in the anchovies and use a fork to mash them into the other ingredients.
Pat the chicken livers dry with paper towels. Raise the heat to medium, push the vegetable mixture to one side, and add the livers in the center of the pan. Cook, tossing the livers to brown quickly. As they cook, chop them coarsely with a wooden spoon. After they have changed color from rosy to brown, stir in the wine and broth. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the livers are uniform in color and most of the liquid has been absorbed. As the livers cook, continue to break them up with a fork or spoon until they form a coarse paste which is traditional. If you prefer a smoother texture, process the mixture in a food processor. Stir in the capers and remaining parsley along with the lemon juice and mix well. Taste and add salt if necessary along with lots of black pepper and more lemon juice if desired.
Spread the liver mixture among the bread slices and place them on a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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