Crostini al Tonno


Thanks to a friend who visited Lorenza de Medici’s Badia a Coltibuono in Italy many years ago, and cooked with the Madame, I learned about the Italian cuisine expert and bought a few of her cookbooks.

Lorenza de Medici isn’t Lidia Bastianich. If she visited the U.S., she didn’t go on the Today Show, on the Tonight Show, or participate as a judge on Chopped. (I have nothing against Lidia.) So although a highly respected author and teacher, she’s just not as well known in the U.S.

To quote from the book cover of the cookbook I’m using for today’s recipe, Lorenza’s Antipasti, published in 1998, “Lorenza and her Husband, Piero Stucchi-Prinetti, spend most of their time at their home, Badia a Coltibuono, an 11th Century monastery, estate, and winery in Tuscany.”

If I was her, I wouldn’t leave either. I’d just hang out, teach some cooking classes, test the grapes and olives, drink my wine, and play with dogs. I’m assuming she has dogs.

Oh, and as of the publication of this cookbook, she’d already published 20 books, and that was 19 years ago!

So instead of common bruschetta, tapenade, baked ricotta, and other popular crostini toppings, some of which are on this blog (all of them, actually), I really wanted to make these toasts with tuna. Recipe by Lorenza de Medici. I just like saying her name! Not to be confused with Lorenzo de Medici.

Crostini al Tonno

12 slices Italian country-style bread, sliced 1/4 ” thick
8 ounces canned tuna in oil
Yolks of 3 hard-boiled eggs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 anchovy fillets in oil
12 paper thin slices lemon with peel on
12 capers in salt, rinsed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the slices of bread on 1 or 2 baking sheets and toast in the oven for about 3 minutes or until barely golden, turning them once; allow to cool to room temperature.

Put the tuna with its oil, the egg yolks, butter, lemon juice and anchovy fillets in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms.

It can be placed in a small serving bowl and served alongside the toasts.

Alternately, spread the paste on the toasts and top with the lemon slices.

Arrange a caper in the center of each.

Arrange on a platter and serve.

These crostini are absolutely delicious. I served them with bubbly rosé and it was a perfect match for a warm summer evening.

38 thoughts on “Crostini al Tonno

  1. I have that little book and many others by Lorenza de`Medici. I love the refined elegance and simplicity of her dishes- never over fussy or busy with too many ingredients. This is a gorgeous pate` for a starter.

    • I love a frittata she made in one cookbook – it’s leftover spaghetti in a skillet, topped with eggs! So definitely she still embraces the roots, the practical, and the simplicity.

  2. This is one of my favorite books, and she is one of my favorite cooks/chefs. Also, I love this recipe and can’t tell you how many times I have made it and never tire of it. Thanks for the reminder to get it out again!

  3. Thanks for the introduction to Lorenza (not to be confused with Lorenzo!!). These sound delicious and perfect for app for the patio this summer!

  4. Mimi, when you say something is delicious, I believe you. Unfortunately, that term seems to have fallen into the nondescript category (similar to “yum”), which is a shame. When a trusted culinary friend recommends a recipe as “absolutely delicious”, that tells me everything I need to know. Thank you!

  5. I have been making tuna crostini since I was little! The only beef I have with American tuna is that it is so much drier than what we use in Italy. I have to go to great lengths to find decent Italian or Spanish tuna, which is ridiculously expensive (but worth it, especially for salads). Don’t they also have some famous wine from Badia a Coldibuono?

  6. Oh you’ve got me in the mood, oh yes you have … guess who is going to have to make some of these crostini very sooooon! They look so ‘summery’ to me, too, so that must have something to do with it. I love summer. I was lucky enough to visit the Badia twice, and to meet Lorenza de Medici’s daughter, Emanuela Stucchi Prinetti, albeit in Rome. She was very charming, and I can tell that she works very hard to keep the Badia and the wine business going. I am about to put a link to a post I wrote about an evening centred around the products of the Badia. If you wish not to show it, by all means cancel these last two sentences (I am a little reticent about talking about one’s own posts on other people’s blogs… but maybe you’ll enjoy reading it, who knows).

    • That’s so exciting! Doesn’t Lorenza also have a son who manages the wine/olive oil business? Maybe I’m thinking of Lidia Bastianich. So nice to have met Emanuela. And so lucky to have visited the Badia! It looks so beautiful. No problem with the link – I will check it out!

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