Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Californian Bruschetta

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It's Vegan Mofo, Day 3!

Tonight I made what I'm calling a "Californian" variation on an old Italian favorite: bruschetta. Why Californian? Because it's healthier (ahem, it's vegan), and as ya'll know, California is notorious for its healthy lifestyles, and because I used sourdough bread, which although I've read originated in ancient Egypt before spreading to Northern Europe and then to Northern California, is considered a staple bread here in all of California. 

Because it's so late, I'm just going to post some teaser photos for now, and I'll be posting the full recipe tomorrow.  The recipe is now posted, below the photos!

tofu ricotta, which is also used in my famous Stuffed Shells recipe!

The bruschetta mixture of tomatoes et al.

Finito. Bella, salubre, e deliziosa!

C a l i f o r n i a n  B r u s c h e t t a

Ingredients

Sourdough bread, sliced 
(I used San Luis Sourdough, but any kind will do!)

For the tofu ricotta:
1 package (~16oz) of firm tofu
1/2 cup (or slightly more) of Vegenaise
2 to 3 TB nutritional yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tsp dried parsley
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder

For the tomato mixture:
2 1/2 large tomatoes*, chopped
1 cup basil leaves, cut Chiffonade style
2 garlic cloves, minced and sauteed
2 TB olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
sea salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper**, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F***
  2. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil and balsamic. Add the rest of the tomato mixture ingredients, and toss well. It's best if you can let it marinate for an hour, but not totally necessary.
  3. Pat the tofu dry, and mash into a bowl. Add the remaining ricotta ingredients, and mash with a fork until all is blended. 
  4. Lightly oil a baking sheet and/or lightly oil both sides of each slice of bread.
  5. Add heaping spoonfuls of ricotta mixture to each slice of bread. Bake slices in the oven for 8-10 minutes or until ricotta has slightly darkened and firmed. 
  6. Top with generous heaps of fresh tomato mixture and serve! This would make a great party appetizer, but is also good on its own! 


Notes:
*I used what I had, which was 1/2 beefsteak tomato (don't you hate the name?), 1 large garden tomato, & 1 cup of cherry tomatoes. The latter of the two, I picked from my neighbor's garden. I'll have to ask her what kind the garden tomato was. But 2 1/2 large tomatoes, whatever kind, should approximate the amount I used just fine.
**I really love using rainbow peppercorns. I buy mine at Trader Joe's.
***If you plan to let your tomato mixture marinate for an hour or so, no need to preheat your oven right away.


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