1 baguette, plain or roasted garlic, sliced
about 2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
4-5 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced fine
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp prepared pesto (homemade or store bought. Costco has a really good one)
parmesan cheese for topping
balsamic vinegar syrup for drizzling (recipe follows)
1/4 to 1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp sugar
Put balsamic vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan, and stir to combine well. Over low heat reduce down til moderately thick and syrupy (like when honey is warmed and slightly liquefied). Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
On a baking sheet place slices of bread. In a small bowl combine olive oil with minced garlic and zap in microwave for 30 seconds. Helps the garlic to seep into the oil and flavor it. Brush the garlic oil on to the bread slices, and then put into a 350 degree oven for 7 minutes.
While the bread is toasting, mix together tomatoes, pesto, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
When bread is done toasting, top with tomato mixture (bruschetta), and parmesan cheese. Return to oven for another 5-7 minutes. Just to warm the tomatoes and melt the cheese a bit.
Drizzle each piece with balsamic syrup (just a little, makes it pretty and adds a sweet and tart flavor to the bruschetta.
Stuffed Mushrooms (posting again)
1 lb medium to large white mushrooms (Costco has big ones, they are great for this)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1/3 to 1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
1/4 c parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
Remove stems from mushrooms and scoop out a bit of the inside to create a small bowl shape. Place caps in a 9x13 pan, and the stems and other bits aside. Once you fill the pan (I had a few extra whole mushrooms that didn't fit), chop the remaining mushrooms and the stems and other bits finely, almost mincing them.
In a medium skillet, heat olive oil, and then add chopped mushrooms and garlic and saute for a few minutes til they reduce to about half their volume. Place them in a medium bowl and add panko, salt and pepper, and 1/4 of the parmesan cheese. Stir all of this to combine well, so the breadcrumbs absorb any liquid from the sauteed mushroom mixture.
Fill caps with the chopped mushroom mixture, sprinkle with the extra parmesan, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cheese has browned a bit and the mushroom caps are tender. Serve hot.