Love is in the air and on the plate...

by - Sunday, February 14, 2016

While a simple card exchange celebrates Valentine's Day at Chez Fitz, I try to make something a little extra special to savor. It is usually very simple, allowing natural flavor to satisfy, with a bit of red of course. A wonderful appetizer or meal itself, this easy bruschetta crostini can be enjoyed on many occasions...

Easy Bruschetta Crostini
3 cups grape tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
sea salt to taste
2 cups ricotta cheese
!/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (or dried parsley flakes)
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 large French baguette
4 tablespoons olive oil
balsamic vinegar for drizzling
fresh grated Romano cheese for garnish

1) In a bowl, toss together the tomatoes, basil and garlic. Sprinkle with a touch of sea salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, overnight is best.
2) To prepare the cheese spread, mix together the ricotta and Parmesan, adding in the parsley and fresh pepper to taste. This can also be prepared the night before.
3) Cut the baguette into 3/4 inch wide angled slices. Brush each slice with the remaining tablespoons of olive oil and bake for 15 minutes on 425 F. I like to finish them off under the broiler for a couple of minutes to get them really toasted and crispy on top. Let them cool for a minute.
4) Spread each toasty bread slice with a generous helping of the ricotta mixture. Spoon a hefty portion of the bruschetta atop, letting it spill on the plate. Drizzle all with balsamic and give the platter a sprinkle of freshly grated Romano cheese.

I can guarantee you there will be no left-overs, so enjoy it all!

 A little love in the air... a little love on the plate... Happy Valentine's Day! xoxo-Sonya

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