April 13, 2011 in Food

Strawberry adds twist to usual bruschetta

Jim Romanoff For The Associated Press
Associated Press photo

Strawberry-ricotta bruschetta perfect for breakfast or brunch.
(Full-size photo)

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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