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An Italian appetizer, served hot or cold that can be made in the form of toasted pieces of bread, toasted crackers or croutons that have received a light basting of olive oil and are then served with a variety of toppings. The crostini bread appetizer often consists of 1" thick (or less) pieces of bread sliced from a baguette that are then cut into round, square or triangular shapes with the crusts removed. The bread is toasted, topped with combinations of seafood or meat, and occassionally also topped with sliced or shredded cheese. Crostini is often confused with bruschetta, which is a thicker and larger round appetizer that is not cut into different shapes, nor has it been cut to remove its outer bread crust.

When making crostini that is filled rather than spread with ingredients, an indentation is made in the bread by removing a small amount of the bread in the middle of the slices. The bread is then toasted so it is golden brown on both sides. The topping is often sautéed in olive oil and then after placing the topping on the toast, more olive oil is drizzled onto the mixture, at which point it is then ready to serve. Similarly, the crostini "cracker" is brushed with olive oil when it is produced and toasted to become a hard-surfaced appetizer, capable of holding layers of meats, cheeses or seafoods. The crostini croutons are toasted, like the bread, sprinkled with olive oil and made into various dimensions for adding to salads and other foods.

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