Beef marrow crostini with gremolata

Beef marrow crostini with gremolata. (Oct. 10, 2012)

Beef marrow crostini with gremolata. (Oct. 10, 2012) Photo Credit: Gordon M. Grant

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Roasted beef marrow has been described as "meat butter" and "poor man's foie gras." These nicknames will give you an idea of how rich and delicious it is.

This recipe is the exception to the slow cooking rule. If you roast marrow bones at a high heat for just 20 minutes, the heat will melt the marrow to a spreadable consistency, perfect for spreading onto toasted slices of baguette.

1/2 baguette, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 cloves garlic, peeled, divided

4 (3- to 4-inch-long) center-cut beef marrow bones (about 21/2 pounds)

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Ground black pepper

1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

Lemon wedges for serving

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1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place baguette rounds on a baking sheet, lightly brush with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and bake until light golden, about 12 minutes. Rub lightly with 1 clove garlic and set aside.

2. Turn heat to 450 degrees. Line another baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Place bones on sheet, cut sides up. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until marrow is softened but not yet running out of bones, about 20 minutes.

3. While bones are roasting, combine lemon zest, parsley, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 / 2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl.

4. Scoop marrow out of bones and spread onto toasts. Sprinkle with parsley mixture and serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.

Makes 4 appetizer servings.

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