Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday Night Cookin' Part II: Garden Bruschetta

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Toasted Baguette, topped with Cashew Ricotta, Basil Pesto, Baby Spinach Leaves and Rosemary Oven Roasted Plum and Cherry Tomatoes...
(party in my mouth) ^_^
 How we did it:
Friday afternoons, we have a small but amazing Farmer's Market here on the campus where I work. It is literally two steps outside of my building, which is so very convenient. If you get there early, they usually have freshly baked baguettes for sale: perfect for bruschetta!

Fresh Basil for Pesto!
As an unexpected BONUS, Kathy harvested a bunch of fresh basil from her garden, and brought packages of PINE NUTS, the coveted dream ingredient for the perfect pesto. Pine nuts are pricey, to say the least, and I almost NEVER have them on hand. Most of the time, I make my pesto with toasted walnuts instead, so this was a nice treat!

Toasting Pine Nuts for Pesto! (iPhone pic)

Fresh Pesto (iPhone pic)

I have to say, this was one of my better efforts!  I made it in my blender, so I used a bit more olive oil than I usually do.  But, I have to say, I really liked the consistancy of the pesto from the blender a bit better than the food processor.  Go figure...

And now for these gorgeous tomatoes!!

Pre-Oven Oven Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic and Rosemary (iPhone pic)

We decided to oven roast them at 450 for about 20 minutes, along with a head of garlic.  I had some lovely rosemary branches from another friend's garden, so Kathy pulled some of the leaves off and skewered the giant cherry tomatoes on the fresh rosemary branches.  This imparted the most WONDERFUL rosemary flavor, and made my kitchen smell absolutely divine!  It also looks really classy too.

Oven Roasted Garden Tomatoes and Garlic with Fresh Rosemary (iPhone pic)

Out of the oven!

So now we build our Bruschetta: 

Slice your baguette around 1/2" thick
Lightly brush with olive oil and spinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.
I usually broil the bruschetta on high for 3-5 minutes, but since we already had the oven set to 450, we toasted them on the top shelf for 10 minutes or so.
Remove baguette slices and then rub each piece with a garlic clove.
Spread each slice with tofu ricotta and top with a spoonful of fresh basil.
Top each slice with a baby spinach leaf (or two), and then finish it off with some oven roasted tomatoes

Kick back with a glass of red wine, and pat yourself on the back for creating: Bruschetta of the Gods

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