Tuna Crostini with Italian Antipasto

Tuna Crostini with Italian Antipasto - crisp baguette slices topped with an EASY, herbaceous tuna spread made with Bella Portofino extra virgin olive oil packed Albacore tuna, mascarpone, capers, lemon zest, and fresh herbs!

This post is brought to you by Bella Portofino

Appetizers are my favorite part of any meal. They allow us to do what we all love best: try little bites of as many different foods as possible. I could live on appetizers alone and be perfectly content.

In Italy, these foods are known as antipasto, which literally translates to “before the meal”. Growing up, one of my fondest memories was visiting our local Italian restaurant and eyeing up the antipasto table.

The dishes were ever-changing, but the basic concept was always the same: grilled or marinated vegetables, olives, and some form of charcuterie, seafood, or meat. Foods that took little to no time to prepare or could be cooked ahead of time, and be served hot or cold.

Quintessential summer food in all its glory.

Bella Portofino Albacore Tuna

One of my goals this summer is to prepare simpler, no-fuss recipes for dinner. In that spirit, I’ve teamed up with my friends at Bella Portofino to bring you the most epic Italian antipasto platter.

It is loaded with goodies: homemade tuna crostini, grilled summer vegetables, briny olives, marinated artichokes, and juicy tomatoes.

If you enjoyed these tuna avocado boats, you will absolutely love today’s recipe!

The star of this antipasto platter is the homemade tuna crostini. Crispy baked baguette slices topped with a creamy tuna herb spread. The spread is a simple mixture of extra virgin olive oil packed tuna, mascarpone, fresh lemon zest, capers, chives, and dill. It comes together in seconds!

For any simple preparation like this, it is essential to start with high-quality ingredients. I turned to Bella Portofino’s hand-selected Albacore tuna, which has a mild, yet rich flavor. The tuna complements the buttery mascarpone without being overpowered. It also happens to be the best Albacore canned tuna I’ve ever had in my life.

The briny capers, lemon zest, and herbs help cut the richness of the mascarpone and lend a bright, herbaceous flavor to the tuna.

It is one of the easiest and most flavorful appetizer spreads that I’ve made in quite some time. It also spreads fantastically, so don’t skimp on the crostini!

Tuna Crostini - an easy summer appetizer made with extra virgin olive oil packed tuna, mascarpone, capers, chives, dill, and fresh lemon zest!

Similarly to the Yellowfin tuna, Bella Portofino’s extra virgin olive oil packed Albacore tuna only contains three ingredients: hand-selected Albacore tuna, extra virgin olive oil, and a touch of sea salt.

While it may sound unconventional to combine mascarpone and canned tuna fish, the concept has Italian roots and was inspired by a classic Italian antipasto spread made from mascarpone, mustard, and anchovies.

I’m a much bigger fan of this herb-filled tuna version!

Italian Antipasto Platter with Tuna Crostini

In keeping with any classic antipasto platter, I paired the tuna crostini with easy-to-prepare grilled vegetables, fresh tomatoes, and good-quality marinated olives and artichoke hearts. All of these flavors work extremely well together, but feel free to mix it up however you choose!

While this antipasto platter would make a fantastic appetizer spread for a crowd, it is substantial enough to serve as a meal unto itself. Aka: my dream meal. Buon appetito!

Tuna Crostini with Italian Antipasto - an easy summer appetizer recipe!

Tuna Crostini with Italian Antipasto

Ingredients:

Herbed Tuna Spread:

  • 1 can (4.5 ounce) Bella Portofino Solid Albacore Tuna in Extra Virgin Olive Oil (not drained)
  • 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3 tablespoons non-pareil capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, plus more for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped dill, plus more for garnishing
  • finely grated zest of ½ lemon
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling

Crostini:

  • ½ large French baguette, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Grilled Vegetables:

  • 1 medium (preferably Italian or graffiti) eggplant, sliced lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices
  • 2 medium zucchini, trimmed, and sliced lengthwise into ½-inch thick slices
  • 1 red bell pepper, halved, cored, de-seeded, and sliced lengthwise in half
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

For Assembly:

  • 1 jar marinated artichokes, drained
  • 1 cup marinated mixed olives, drained
  • 1 dry pint cherry, sungold, or mixed tomatoes

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit with a rack in the center position.
  2. Prepare the herbed tuna spread: In a small food processor, combine the tuna, mascarpone cheese, and capers. Pulse until mostly smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl with a spatula to incorporate all of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes while you prepare the crostini and grilled vegetables.
  3. Prepare the crostini: Brush the olive oil lightly on both sides of the bread slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Distribute evenly on a large baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees until the toast is golden and crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  4. Grill the vegetables: Heat a gas or charcoal grill over medium-high heat. Gently toss or brush both sides of the eggplant (note: eggplant absorbs oil quickly, so it is best to grill it immediately after brushing), zucchini, and pepper halves with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the vegetables in batches, flipping halfway through, until they are evenly charred on both sides. Set the vegetables aside on a large plate to cool.
  5. Assemble: Remove the tuna spread from the fridge and stir. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and garnish with reserved chives and dill. Arrange all the components, grouping each ingredient together, evenly on a large serving platter or cutting board. Serve immediately.
  • Nutrition Information (Tuna Spread and Crostini Only)Serving Size 1 (of 6). Calories: 380 calories, Total Fat: 32 grams, Saturated Fat: 14 grams, Cholesterol: 70 mg, Sodium: 380 mg, Total Carbohydrate: 14 grams, Dietary Fiber: 1 grams, Sugars: 0 grams, Protein: 12 grams
  • Nutrition Information (Full Platter)Serving Size 1 (of 6). Calories: 500 calories, Total Fat: 39 grams, Saturated Fat: 15 grams, Cholesterol: 70 mg, Sodium: 710 mg, Total Carbohydrate: 28 grams, Dietary Fiber: 6 grams, Sugars: 8 grams, Protein: 14 grams

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This post was created in partnership with Bella Portofino and I received compensation for my participation. Opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!