There’s nothing like a piece of crusty garlic bread to accompany an Italian dish. There are many ways to prepare bruchetta, but many times the recipe involves excessive oil and cheese. My recipe is created from simple, fresh ingredients–the cheesy, tomato-ey, garlicky components are all there without sky-high calories, sodium or fat.
1 Whole wheat French baguette (depending on the party size)
5 large Roma tomatoes
6-8 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
1/3 C high quality Parmesan Reggiano, finely grated
2 T fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/2-2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil (a spray bottle such as Misto works best for just the right amount)
Dried red pepper flakes.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and coat cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Slice baguette into 1/4″ pieces and arrange in a single layer. Toast baguette for 5-10 minutes, until slightly crisp.
2. Meanwhile, slice the tomatoes, rinse out the seeds and pat dry. Coarsely chop tomatoes and basil. Finely chop garlic and slice lemon in half.
3. Remove bread from oven and spray with a fine mist of olive oil. Dust with Parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper and return to oven at 225 degrees F.
4. Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and heat over medium-low flame. When hot, add garlic with 1 T olive oil and saute for 3-4 minutes. Squeeze juice from one lemon over garlic, continue stirring for two minutes. Add 1/2 tsp basil just before removing skillet from heat.
5. Remove bread from oven and distribute garlic mixture evenly atop each slice. Top with diced tomatoes and remaining basil. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt, red pepper flakes and a grind of black pepper. Shave a little bit of Parmesan cheese on each slice. Return to oven for 6-8 minutes until bread is crispy, cheese is golden and tomatoes are heated through.