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Strawberry adds twist to usual bruschetta

Wed., April 13, 2011, midnight

Traditional tomato bruschetta has become so ubiquitous in the U.S. you can even buy jars of prepared toppings and pre-toasted bread. So we decided to reinvent it as a breakfast or dessert item.

Instead of starting with a garlic-rubbed toast, we take slices of baguette and slather them with low-fat, yet creamy part-skim ricotta cheese. If you like, you could vary the recipe by using Neufchatel (reduced-fat cream cheese) or even thick Greek-style yogurt.

We then top them with sliced strawberries and a drizzle of honey – reminiscent of the tomatoes and olive oil from traditional versions. Capping the creamy strawberry toasts is a sprinkle of herbs to add a fresh counterpoint to all the sweetness.

While these strawberry-ricotta bruschetta are a natural fit as part of a breakfast or brunch, they make a fine passed appetizer as well.

For a tart variation, toss the diced strawberries in a sweet balsamic vinegar glaze before assembling and skip the honey drizzle.

Strawberry-Ricotta Bruschetta

12-inch baguette, cut into 20 slices

1 1/4 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

1 pound strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice

Honey, to taste

20 fresh mint or basil leaves, cut in thin strips (chiffonade)

Lightly toast the slices of baguette. Spread each slice with about 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese. Divide the diced strawberries among the slices of toast.

Drizzle with honey, sprinkle with mint (or basil) and serve.

Approximate nutrition per serving: 270 calories, 4 grams fat (2 grams saturated, 13 percent fat calories), 11 grams protein, 48 grams carbohydrate, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 3 grams dietary fiber, 457 milligrams sodium.


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