The Crispiest Crunchiest Recipes on BGSK

Pita Croutons

Sometimes, you just want crunch! Smooth and silky have their place in cake, mousse, and soup. For when you want to bite into breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert and feel that toothsome SNAP! between your teeth, here are the dishes for you. (I wrote more about crunchies here, if you’re as addicted as I am.)

Fusilli1. Fusilli with Squash, Chard, Walnuts, and Pangritata. Pasta with vegetables is such a go-to, and I’m always looking for variations. This wintry delight, with sweet squash and fresh greens, gets perked up with pangritata–fried breadcrumbs also known as “poor man’s Parmesan.”

2. Cheesy Roasted Broccoli with BreadcrumbsRoasted broccoli already has two excellent textures: crisp, nearly burnt florets and soft sweet interiors, but melted cheese and brittle breadcrumbs give the dish an even more attractive character.

Crunchy Desserts 3. Peanut Butter Crispy Bars. Don’t restrict crispy bars to the official marshmallow version. A combination of peanut butter and corn syrup replaces the melted ‘mallows, while chocolate swirls on top complete the picture.

4. Green Tea Chocolate Bark. Chocolate bark has been a go-to since I was “cooking” in my dorm room microwave. But this version is sophisticated: matcha powder turns white chocolate green, and toasted walnuts pair with puffed brown rice cereal for ultimate crunch.

Red Lentil Soup5. Roasted Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Vinaigrette and Crispy Breadcrumbs. This one almost seemed like a hodgepodge of flavors and textures–sprouts, couscous, and maple! But the breadcrumbs brought all the ingredients together, delivering them to your mouth with a crunch.

6. Cheesy Pita Croutons (on Red Lentil Soup). If lentil soup’s smooth consistency means you don’t crave it as often as one should crave lentil soup, tempt yourself by topping bowls with shards of cheesy, za’atar-topped, oily toasted pitas.

Granola7. Salted Caramel Chocolate Crispy Treats. Dark brown sugar, cream, and butter turn into a salty caramel that enrobes what you’ll now recognize as a favorite crispy shortcut–puffed rice cereal–and turns the cereal into chocolate-topped squares.

8. Olive Oil Granola. A few years out from posting, this remains my favorite granola recipe. That’s partly because of the richness from nuts, olive oil, and maple syrup. But it’s also because it’s uniquely, satisfyingly crunchy. Every bite pops.

Polenta Steaks

9. Scrambled Egg Tostadas. Tacos are great and all, but if you’re a crunch fiend, you’ll want to try tostadas. Fried or baked tortillas get crispy enough to provide needed contrast to traditional toppings like (soft) refried beans, (soft) guacamole, and (soft) melted cheese.

10. Polenta Steaks with Peppers, Red Onions & Smoked Mozzarella. I really do like polenta and grits, and yet their characteristic softness sometimes leaves me wanting a crunchy bar (see above) for dessert. Not so when you cool the grain, then fry up shapes in olive oil until the edges are golden and perfectly textured.

Posted in: The Best of BGSK
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