Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sunday Dinner

This weekend we got our first taste of spring.  It was wonderful.  Having the sun out and windows open just transforms my mood.  Hopefully, it's here to stay!

While doing some things around the house, I had on an episode of Barefoot Contessa.  She was making all sorts of things with fresh produce.  One of the dishes was something she calls Scalloped Tomatoes.  When I hear the word "scalloped" I usually associate it with the creamy, heavy potato dish that I would prefer to eat on a cold winter night.  This was nothing like that.  This dish screamed spring to me.  Right away, I knew what I was making for dinner.  
Here is how I made it,  I changed the name to what I thought was more appropriate.

Baked Bruschetta

olive oil
12" Italian baguette
1-2 cloves minced garlic
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I would have used more if I had)
pinch of sugar or splenda
salt and pepper
fresh basil, chopped
freshly grated parmesan cheese

Preaheat oven to 350. 
Coat large pan with olive oil on medium heat.  Cut baguette into cubes; add to pan.
Coat bread cubes with oil.  Heat for 5 minutes to toast on all sides. 
In the meantime, combine tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar and garlic into a bowl.  [I like to use a microplane grater for my garlic -I find it's easier that mincing with a knife].
Add tomato mixture to pan.   Cook for another 5 minutes. Take off heat and mix in basil. 
Put into sprayed casserole dish.  Grate lots of fresh parm on top.  
Bake for 30-45 minutes.
Drizzle with olive oil and serve!

This made 3 - 4 servings as a side dish.  Next time I make it, I will definitely plan to use more tomatoes.  I suppose you could use canned diced tomatoes in a pinch, but would drain them first because the extra moisture might change the bread's consistency. 

I served it with spinach and walnut stuffed founder.  I wanted to keep the meal light and felt like this would be a perfect fish in keeping with my spring theme.  While the fish was excellent, I think the star of the show was the bruschetta.  I will definitely be making this again!

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