Thursday, September 17, 2009

pasta salad bruschetta

Sometimes when I'm making dinner for the fam I like to throw in an extra side dish or appetizer just to test some of my kitchen skills. Since we've been bombarded by the vegetable production in our garden, my aim is usually to use some of those items. And for any of you who enjoy the leftovers of the wonderful panera, I would suggest using the baguettes, they make it so easy and you can really use just about anything as a topper.
This recipe was concocted the other day and I thought it turned out amazing. If you've ever tried or seen any of my pasta salad recipes, you'll know why this is my "pasta salad bruschetta."
"Pasta Salad Bruschetta"
1 baguette, sliced about 1/4 inch thick at a slight angle
3 tomatoes chopped
1 can black olives diced
3/4 c. green olives diced
3/4 c. feta crumbled
1/4 c. fresh basil chopped or
1 T. Italian seasoning/dry basil
1/4 t. salt
Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Place the baguette slices evenly on the pan. Broil on low for about 2 minutes. Keep an eye on the oven, because all ovens cook different and you do not want anything to burn.
In a medium bowl, mix all other ingredients, salt and pepper to taste. Spoon mixture onto the toasted baguette slices getting as close to the edge as you can (I really pile it on).
Broil for another 2-4 minutes. The cheese should start melting and the tops should be golden brown. Make sure to take out of the oven before the edges of the baguettes burn.
I used about 1/2 of a baguette and it filled a cookie sheet, and I only used half of the tomato mixture. The following day I cooked up a small batch of pasta and added the tomato mixture for a pasta salad lunch.
I believe half of the recipe made about 15 slices, so if you're cooking for a bigger crowd, a whole baguette and the whole recipe should be about 30.
If you're not an olive fan, or for a traditional bruschetta recipe, just take out the olives, everything will cook the same. Also, feel free to use any cheese! Take a look at my artichoke dip bakes if you like the baguette appetizers, they're always a big hit, and one my easy to make recipe!!

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