by Jacque Lynn Schiller
It’s hard to narrow the menu at Williamsburg’s vaunted Diner down to a single pick, but as this is the Thirsty Bits and not Ravenous Entrée column, we’ve done our best. Like a solid pizza – pretty much a perfect food – it’s hard to go wrong with crostini. Crusty bread with some quality ingredients and you’re set. Push this concept a bit and you’ve got one of the many ways in which Diner excels and surprises. Nothing could be finer…
85 Broadway, Brooklyn
Chef: Sean Rembold (Marlow & Sons)
Favorite Nona find: Crostini
Ingredients: Pancetta, aged goat cheese, plums
Sean, Tell us about the your approach to the menu.
We keep a crostini on the menu every night at Marlow and Sons. The garnish evolves with what’s in season and what we feel like cooking that day. We’re very fond of blurring the line between sweet and savory and love to feature fresh herbs in our menu quite a bit as well.
And this particular crostini?
We mix fresh goat cheese from Lancaster , PA with a little bit of salt, pepper and olive oil. This can be done very easily by allowing the goat cheese to sit at room temperature for just a bit and then folding in the oil and seasoning with a spatula. Next up, we “flash sear” sliced fresh plums (Guy Jones from Blooming Hill Farm has amazing ones) in a small amount of smoking hot olive oil in a sauté pan. The sliced plums are tossed in the extremely hot oil/pan for literally less than 30 seconds and maybe even closer to 10 or 15, especially if they’re pretty ripe. While tossing, add a pinch of fresh picked thyme, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar to balance out any natural tartness in the plums. Let them cool on a sheet pan with parchment paper and taste to double check your seasoning.
The bread is spectacular – it holds its crunch.
For the bread, we like to use the sesame loaf from Sullivan Street Bakery. Any rustic bread will do, however. Toast the bread with a little olive oil and then layer or slather with the goat cheese.
I don’t think I’ve ever tried hard goat cheese.
Goat cheese is pretty strong so the amount you use depends on how wild or crazy you might be feeling that day.
And to finish?
Spoon the plum mixture over top along with some of the naturally occurring plum liquid. Drizzle with some fine olive oil to finish along with torn leaves of either mint or basil. Serve immediately.
Know a tasty tapas? Please send tips our way. Cheers!