Part of tonight's dinner includes two recipes I found online. First, I wanted to use some fresh tomatoes to make my own bruschetta. I found this recipe and followed it practically verbatim except I let the tomatoes cool after the parboil. Second, I made a spinach and bean dip I saw on Everyday Italian. It was good, and my husband loved it, but it wasn't as great as I was expecting it to be.
I served both toppings on crostini, which I made in a very simple way. I cut a baguette into 1/2-inch slices, dipped one side into olive oil, places the slices oil side down on a tray, and baked at 450F for 5 minutes and turned off the oven.
Fresh tomato and basil bruschetta:
Ingredients: about a pound of plum or Roma tomatoes; 2-3 cloves garlic; handful of fresh basil leaves; 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil; 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar; salt
I used four large Kentucky plum tomatoes I found at the grocery store and was really pleased with how it tasted. This was also the first time I'd used a lot of the basil I've been growing in a pot in the back yard.
1. Bring a pot of water to boil, then turn it off. Put in the tomatoes and leave them for one minute. Drain. Peel the tomatoes, remove the watery pulp, and dice them finely. This was really easy to do, even removing the skins, after the parboil. 2. Mince the garlic cloves and chop the basil and add to the diced tomato. Salt the tomatoes generously. You can add some pepper too if you like. 3. Add the vinegar and oil and mix everything together. Serve with crostini.
I'm not going to recreate the spinach dip recipe here because I included the link to the recipe. I think the dip was better when it was still warm, and afterward just tasted a little weird. I was really expecting to like it because I love cannellini beans and I usually can't find too many uses for them. Maybe it's just that I'm not used to eating spinach at room temperature unless it's in a creamy spinach dip. I did like pulling out the food processor to make it! In its defense, it was on the "healthy" show, and it was super easy to make. I would consider making it for a group, so if you're ever invited over -- watch out!