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Crostini con mozzarella alla romana (Roman-style mozzarella toasts)

Serves 4

In our apartment there is a disagreement over the size of crostini: My husband prefers smaller pieces of bread, like those cut from a French baguette, while I favor larger slices from a good country loaf. Either way, they're sensational. Broiling time will vary, depending on how close your baking sheet is to the heat source and how thick your slices of cheese are. In any event the cooking time is short, so keep an eye on the toasts.

4 1/2-inch-thick slices country bread (cut the loaf in half down the middle, then cut across the slices) or 8 1/2-inch-thick slices from a French baguette
1 clove garlic, peeled but left whole
8 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
8 teaspoons olive oil
1 whole milk mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 pound), sliced 1/4-inch thick

1. Turn on the broiler. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.

2. In a toaster or toaster oven, lightly toast the bread slices (watch them carefully). Place them on the baking sheet in one layer.

3. Lightly rub each slice of toast, on the side facing up, with the garlic clove. Place two anchovy fillets on each slice of country-bread toast (one on the baguette slices). Carefully drizzle a teaspoon of olive oil over the anchovies. Cover the toast with a single layer of mozzarella, cutting the slices as necessary to fit.

4. Place the baking sheet under the broiler. Broil, watching carefully, for 3 to 5 minutes or until the mozzarella begins to bubble and becomes lightly browned.

Judith Barrett

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