Saturday, May 14, 2011

New Wave Bruschetta

Yes, I made that name up. If you've never had raw zucchini, you're missing out--it has amazing texture and a very mild flavor that can be enhanced with whatever seasoning or oils you use. I love to toss it in salads.
This recipe came about on a whim when I ran out of time to bring a snack to Bible study. Now I want to make it again. It was a fun variation on the traditional bruschetta. And a great way to use up zucchini if you have a bumper crop. The bruschetta is crispy, creamy and has a fresh flavor--ideal for summer entertaining.


Serves 6-8 as an appetizer
  • 1 large multigrain baguette, sliced into ~1/4 inch slices
  • Olive oil cooking spray (or some regular olive oil and a pastry brush)
  • 1 (8 oz.) pkg of reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced fat sour cream or fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small handful of basil, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium zucchini, washed well, dried and diced small
  • 2 tomatoes, rinsed, dried and diced--drained in colander if possible (I like the vine ripened variety)
  • 1/3 cup Kalamata olives, sliced or chopped (yes, you may use Spanish ones if you don't like this variety)
  • 1/4-1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice (I used half a lemon)
  • 1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the bread slices on a cooking sheet. I sprayed each bread slice with a little bit of olive oil spray--if you don't have olive oil spray, coat each slice with olive oil with a pastry brush.  Toast the bread slices in the top rack in your oven--this may require you to do the little slices in a couple batches depending on the size of your oven.

Toast for approximately 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown. Let cool.

In the bowl of a small food processor, mix the sour cream or yogurt with the cream cheese, minced garlic, and basil. Season with salt and pepper and process until smooth. If you don't have a food processor or are in a hurry, go ahead and mix it by hand (I just wanted the basil fully incorporated). Set cream cheese mixture aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the zucchini, tomatoes, olives, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and taste--adjust seasonings if necesssary. Stir gently.

JUST prior to serving, spread a little bit of the cream cheese mixture on each bread slice. Scoop some of the tomato-zucchini-olive mixture on top of the cream cheese. Serve the toasts immediately.

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