- 18 - ounce loaf whole grain baguette-style French bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- Olive oil nonstick cooking spray
- 2/3 cup light tub-style cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or basil, crushed
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (optional)
- 3/4 cup chopped, seeded plum tomatoes
- 1/3 cup finely shredded fresh spinach
MethodLine a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat both sides of each bread slice with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned, turning once. Cool on wire racks.
Recipe Tip* Watch vinegar closely after 6 minutes of boiling as it can quickly become too thick. Vinegar will get thicker as it cools; if too thick to drizzle, place in a 1-cup microwave-safe measure and microwave on 100% (high) power for 10 seconds.
- 1 recipePine Nut Pesto (see recipe below)
- 24 1/2-inch-thick slicesbaguette-style French bread, toasted, or whole grain crackers
- 1ounce Parmesan or Romano cheese, shaved
- 1cup red and/or yellow cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered, or 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
- Fresh basil sprigs (optional)
- Pine nuts, chopped walnuts, or chopped almonds, toasted (optional)
- 1cupfirmly packed fresh basil
- 1cuptorn fresh arugula or spinach
- 1/4 cupgrated Parmesan or romano cheese
- 1/4 cuptoasted pine nuts, chopped walnuts, or chopped almonds
- 1quartered clove garlic
- 1tablespoonolive oil
- 1tablespoonwhite balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoonsalt
- Spread Pine Nut Pesto onto baguette slices. Top with shaved Parmesan and tomatoes. If desired, top with basil and nuts. Makes 12 (2-slice) servings.
- In a small food processor, combine basil, arugula, Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and salt. Cover and process with several on-off turns until a paste forms, stopped several times to scrape the side. Process in enough water, adding 1 tablespoon at a time, until pesto reaches the consistency of soft butter.
- 2tablespoons oil-packed dried tomatoes
- 1/2 cup snipped watercress or fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
- 1cup canned white kidney beans (cannellini beans), rinsed and drained
- 1tablespoon fat-free milk
- 2 -3teaspoons lemon juice
- 1teaspoon snipped fresh thyme or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, cut up
- 12 1/2-inch-thick slicesbaguette-style French bread
- Watercress sprigs (optional)
- Preheat broiler. Drain tomatoes, reserving oil; finely snip tomatoes. In a small bowl, combine snipped tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of the reserved oil, the 1/2 cup watercress or parsley, and the pine nuts; set tomato mixture aside.
- In a food processor or blender, combine another 1 teaspoon of the reserved oil, the beans, milk, lemon juice, thyme, salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Set bean mixture aside.
- Place bread slices on a baking sheet. Broil 4 inches from the heat for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes or until bread is lightly toasted, turning once. Remove from oven; cool slightly.
- Place about 1 tablespoon of thebean mixture on each of the toasted bread slices, spreading evenly to edges. Broil 4 inches from heat about 1 minute or until bean mixture is warm. Remove from oven. Top each with some of the tomato mixture. If desired, garnish with watercress sprigs. Serve immediately. Makes 12 appetizers.
- 1 loaf (10 oz) italian bread, trimmed and cut into 16 Pieces (each about 1/2 inch thick)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin Olive Oil
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped, plus small leaves, for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, halved lengthwise
- 1 1/2 pounds heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high. Brush bread slices on one side with 1 tbsp of the oil. Grill, oil side down, for 11/2 minutes. Brush with 1 tbsp oil and flip slices over. Grill another 11/2 minutes or until toasted and lightly marked. Transfer to a platter.
- In a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, 1 tbsp of the chopped basil, the lemon zest and 1/4 tspof the salt and pepper.
- Rub cut side of a garlic clove half on 4 of the bread slices. Repeat with remaining garlic clove halves and remaining grilled bread.
- Gently toss cherry tomato slices with remaining 1 tbsp olive oil, remaining chopped basil, remaining 1/4 tspsalt and pepper and the lemon juice.
- Spread 1 tbsp of the ricotta mixture on each grilled bread slice. Top with a spoonful of the tomato mixture and garnish with basil leaves.