Savory Biscotti

96 Comments

The cookbook by Martha Stewart, called Martha Stewart’s Hors D’Oeuvres Handbook, was published in 1999, pretty soon after I started my catering business.

It’s a beautiful book, even if you’re not a Martha Stewart fan. Her ideas for hors d’oeuvres are, not surprisingly, creative and unique. Sometimes they’re on the crazy end of the spectrum – completely impractical and unreasonable.

One thing always got my attention – savory biscotti. She served them like fun crackers, but they could be used for canapés.

When I think of biscotti, I always think sweet, like my Christmas biscotti. But these are savory varieties, and include ingredients like nuts, seeds, cheese, olives, and other goodies. I imagined them to be really good served alongside cheese, with prosecco or rosé.

I decided it was time to make a variety of savory biscotti for a fun get-together, to have something unique on hand!

The following recipe is the base recipe. What I actually used in my savory biscotti is below.

Savory Biscotti
by Martha Stewart
printable recipe below

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled, cut into 8 pieces
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk

Place the flour, pepper, baking powder, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Combine on low speed.

Add the butter and beat until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

In a small bowl, whisk together the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the eggs, and milk. Gradually pour the milk mixture into the dough and mix just until combined.

This is the base dough for savory biscotti. Before chilling the dough and proceeding with baking, add various combinations of savory items and make sure they’re well distributed.

I kneaded the dough a bit before folding in my add-ins, which are listed below, along with Martha’s suggestions.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with the remaining olive oil and set aside.

Divide the dough into 4 equal parts. (I halved the dough to make 2 logs.)

Roll each piece into a log measuring 1 1/2″ thick and about 7″ long. (I formed a log about 12″ long, then flattened it to about 1/2″ thick. (I am pretty sure MS meant 1 1/2″ wide, not thick.)

Transfer the logs to the prepared baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Brush each log with an egg wash (1 large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt). I didn’t do this. I did make sure there was a bit of grated cheese on the top of the biscotti, however.

Bake until the logs are light brown and feel firm to the touch, about 30-40 minutes. Reduce the oven to 250 degrees F.

Using a serrated knife, slice the logs crosswise on a long diagonal into 1/4″ thick slices that are 3-4″ long. Arrange the slices cut-side down on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and bake, turning the biscotti halfway through cooking time for even browning, until crisp, about 40 minutes.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

These biscotti really are fabulous, and perfect on a cheese platter. Charcuterie would be a fabulous addition.

Today I simply paired them with Cambazola, but they’d be crazy good with a soft goat cheese or any spreadable herbed cheese.

You can really go crazy with all of the ingredient choices. Martha Stewart’s orange zest suggestion was really tempting but I didn’t have any oranges on this day.

Instead of all olive oil, you could use a flavored or infused oil, or even a little truffle oil.

I’ll definitely be making these again, and will enjoy switching up the ingredients.

Ingredients I used in addition to the above recipe:
Dried parsley
Garlic powder
White pepper
About 3 ounces coarsely chopped walnuts
About 3 ounces pitted Kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise
Grated Grana Padana, about 1 1/2 ounces

Martha Stewart’s savory biscotti suggestions:
Lemon zest, capers, parsley, and browned butter instead of olive oil
Orange zest, pistachios, and black olives
Parmesan, fennel seeds, and golden raisins

96 thoughts on “Savory Biscotti

    • Aw, thanks, Karen! I’m surprised because her photo of them was really pretty. But maybe savory biscotti sound funny. And I’ll never quit making the sweet ones!!!

  1. Martha’s books are indeed very different than her show. I translated two of them to Hebrew, and had to admire the professionalism and great photos.
    Love these biscotti and your addition of olives. Perfect for a cheese board.

    • Wow! You have all kinds of talents! I think she must be the one who started styling food in photos. Probably because she wants everything to look pretty! These biscotti are fabulous, and I did use them on a cheese board!

  2. At first, I thought, “Noooooooo.” Then, I kept reading and the notion started to appeal to me, especially with a nice cheese board.

  3. I got this book right when it came out and I’ve made a ton of the recipes from it, but not this one. I haven’t pulled our my copy in a long time, so it’s fun to see it here. Love the idea of savory biscotti — especially with olives, and they’d be so delicious with all sorts of cheeses.

    • She has great recipes in the book, but some pretty crazy presentations! I had a bride who once showed me MS’s photos of vegetables sitting in glasses and jars, and she wanted that for 150 people. It took a while for her to understand how impractical that was, and how much it would cost! But her photos are certainly pretty! These biscotti were definitely good with spreadable cheeses, and also fun to eat as is.

    • Hahahaha! Well I can understand that! That’s my problem with my Christmas biscotti! And why I didn’t make them this year!!!

  4. Chef Mimi, your “add-in’s” look divine! Personally, I think you trumped Martha’s suggestions (no disrespect intended — her ability to combine flavors is admirable — but you’ve been gifted with “the knack” too!) Was contemplating making a butternut squash soup in the near future and your savory biscotti would be lovely with it. Thanks for sharing your culinary inspirations!

    • Oh, it would! I hadn’t thought beyond cheese boards! I’ve made my own fancy crackers with nuts, seeds, and dates, in little loaves, then slicing and drying, and you could certainly do that with this dough as well. They don’t even have to be biscotti shapes!

  5. I have an occasion in February, Mimi, that would be a definite reason for me to try this recipe. I like to make biscotti, and never considered savory. I’m quite excited about this. I think I will wow my guests…I’m thinking they’ve probably never had savory biscotti. :-)

    • Oh fun! Someone reminded me of jarred orange zest, which I think really would be a wonderful addition. And in this case I think that would be better than fresh zest. Enjoy!

    • I understand that! They paired beautifully with cheeses and charcuterie, and I also spread an herbed cheese on them and they were spectacular.

    • I thought they were. Plus I didn’t over toast them. I hate biscotti that practically break your teeth. Although then there’s dunking… But as is they were really fun.

  6. Like Jeff the Chef, savory biscotti is news to me as well. I’ve made sweet (nut free) biscotti from time to time but never savory. I love to dip my sweet biscotti in a cappuccino, perhaps this one in red wine?

    • Or Vin Santo, if you want to be Italian. It was fun to spread an herbed cheese on the biscotti, but otherwise I ate them as is. Really fun.

  7. Lovely Mimi… I can think of quite a few uses for your savoury biscotti… your additions would make these tastier. Like Ron, I like the pairing with a good red 🍷

    • I have every color of wine required, with no judgement on personal pairings! When you and Ron visit, I’ll have many varieties of red for you to choose!

  8. Wow, I haven’t used that cookbook in years! It was one of my favorites when I was doing some catering… Like you said, some of the ideas were crazy, but others were really good! These biscotti fall under the really good category!

  9. I’ve made lots of sweet biscotti and even had a party once with my DIL and some of her friends. I went through a “Martha stage” (mainly gardening at the time) but never really cared much for her recipes. I’m sure your version is a good one to make!

    • Exactly! Although I opted for champagne when I served them for company! But I’m often about bubbly, especially when celebrating friends.

  10. I love this idea, Mimi! Ive been seeing many savory cookie recipes, but not biscotti until now. These would be perfect to accompany soup or stew. Thanks for the idea!

  11. Love ’em. I don’t believe I’ve ever tried a savory one before, but love how all your “add-ins” show so beautifully, the biscotti has a light green hue to it, very pretty

  12. It has never occurred to me to make savory biscotti! What a good idea! I like your recipe and it seems very easy. I will make these for my next party…thanks for sharing this idea.

  13. What a fun idea! I’m not a Martha fan at all, but I do have to hand it to her for creating a savory biscotti. I love making sweet biscotti, but I’ve never thought about making a savory version. It’s kinda like a cross between biscotti and grissini…and these would be perfect for serving with a nice aged cheese. Yum!

    • I was never a fan either. Mostly because of her stiff know-it-all personality. But she comes up with interesting ideas, and is certainly talented.

  14. I’ve never had savory biscotti. In fact, I’ve never even though about having it — just hadn’t crossed my mind that it could be a “thing.” But now I’m wanting these! Good recipe, fun post — thanks.

    • I bet they freeze really well. I did think that with the olives, I would need to store them in the refrigerator and they’d probably need a little toasting before serving the next time. But I had none leftover!

  15. Savory biscotti eh? I never knew such a thing existed Mimi. Like you say, to me as well, biscotti is a sweet biscuit. And one you usually get at the end of your Italian meal here at an Italian restaurant to go with your coffee! But the thought of savory biscotti and one you serve with cheese? Yum! I’ll need to get my trusty Kitchen Aid fired up for these!

  16. Oh, wow! I received this book as a wedding present but it’s been sitting on the shelf for years! Now I’m inspired to crack it open again! Your biscotti look delish! These would be a great addition to a Super Bowl spread!

  17. Oooh Mimi! I love these! I have never made savoury biscotti, but what a great idea. I must try these!

    • My company sure enjoyed them on the charcuterie and cheese platter I prepared. They’re really fun and different!

    • Oh, me, too. There are chocolate cookies in my kitchen right now that I wanted to make for the blog. I tasted one, but the rest are sitting there. I prefer cheese!

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