I think crostini are a fabulous and easy alternative to doing individual starters. On Saturday night I made three options and served before the main course with some salami and olives. There are a million different combinations to try but they should all start out with some thinly sliced ciabatta, toasted and rubbed lightly with a cut garlic clove. The ones I made were:
Buffalo mozzarella with truffle oil - This is pretty self explanatory but make sure you get the best quality mozzarella you can afford.
Buffalo mozzarella with basil, mint and chilli - Finely chop some basil and mint and sprinkle on top of the mozzarella with some chilli and a drizzle of olive oil.
Pea, ricotta and mint - In a small blender, blitz about two cups of cooked peas with a handful of chopped mint & basil, two tbsp olive oil and two tbsp of ricotta. Stir in the zest and juice of one lemon and season well with salt and pepper.
Some other ones you could try are lightly blended chickpeas or any other bean that you’ve cooked in stock drizzled with some garlic oil; sauteed mushrooms with garlic, parsley and butter; or try cooking some cavolo nero in some salted boiling water with a couple cloves of garlic and then blend with a little olive oil & serve with some parmesan shavings on top. The combinations are endless but Jamie is always a good place to start.