From Giada De Laurentiis
One of the nice things about living 30 miles away from your parents is you can get together fairly often, yet infrequently enough to make a special occasion of it. For example, last weekend we had John’s parents over for dinner, which seemed like the perfect excuse to use our new place settings and put together a festive table.
We always take menu planning pretty seriously, but the advent of the blog has definitely changed the game a little. John’s mom put in a special request for the bacon kale, which we were happy to fulfill. We’ve also been looking for a reason to serve our papaya soup, so we started with those two items and built the menu from there. The plan was to keep appetizers simple and just buy store bought bruschetta topping and a loaf of French bread to toast up. However, John was feeling inspired and came across this simple recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. He whipped up the topping that afternoon and then we toasted the bread and topped them right before serving. It turned out to be totally worth the incremental effort for these fresh and delicious treats! And, bonus, we had a little extra topping and mozzerella, which made for awesome caprese paninis the next day!
- 1 (32 oz) can whole tomatoes, drained
- 1 cup fresh basil, plus extra for garnish
- 4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 French baguettes, cut into 1 inch slices (~36 slices)
- 1 1/2 lbs mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place tomatoes, 1 cup basil, olive oil and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until smooth with some chunks.
- Place bread slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes until light golden brown.
- Place a slice of mozzarella on each piece of bread and return to oven for 1 minute, or until cheese starts to melt.
- Top each piece with a tablespoon of the tomato mixture and a few strips of basil.