Cannellini Sun-dried Tomato Bruschetta and Pizza!

Yesterday, my mom had breakfast at this little French place by my house, which I still haven’t tried (shame on me!) and brought me the leftover half of her freshly baked baguette.  Yum.  Instead of being selfish and keeping it all to myself, I saved it to make bruschetta for my family.  Every Wednesday, my mom, dad and sister join us for dinner.  We call it “Family Dinner Night” because we’re super creative like that.  I’m having a deja vu moment because I feel like I’ve talked about this before.  Oh yeah I did that here…oops!  Well, for dinner I made a super quick bruschetta using things I usually always have on hand.  Don’t you love recipes like that?  And then I was super adventurous and made pizza dough.  From scratch.  For the very first time.  Let me tell you, it’s actually surprisingly really easy.  I used this quick recipe I found online from – Easy Pizza Dough.  I will say I used 1/2 bread flour and 1/2 whole wheat flour and I omitted the sugar.  Came out great.  We all made individual pizzas which Olivia really seemed to enjoy.  I was surprised that in addition to her normal pepperoni topping she added a whole handful of baby spinach to hers!  I had a proud mommy moment.  Yeah I know pepperoni probably kills the nutrients in the spinach but I’ll take what I can get.  Before I get too sidetracked, let me tell you about the bruschetta.  My recipe was inspired by Michael Chiarello’s Bruschetta with White Beans, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Basil however I made mine with fewer ingredients.  He uses ricotta salata cheese which I’ve actually never tried and I’m not sure is readily available to everyone, or cheap.  So if you’re lazy like me or just on a budget, give my recipe a try.  If you feel like being fancy, try Michael’s.

Cannellini Sun-Dried Tomato Bruschetta

Makes about 8 single servings

Sauté 2 cloves of garlic, sliced, in 2 TBSP of olive oil with a sprinkling of crushed red pepper (a little or a lot according to your taste.)  Do this over medium-low heat being careful not to burn the garlic.  Next add a handful of chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I used the dried ones in the bag from Trader Joe’s but I bet the ones in olive oil would be better) and a whole can of cannellini beans with a couple tablespoons of reserved bean liquid from the can.  Next add a handful of parmesan cheese.  (I used the kind in the green shaker bottle – gasp!)  Season with salt and pepper and let this cook together for a few minutes to allow all of the flavors to meld.  Turn off the heat and stir in a handful of chopped Italian parsley.  Finish with a squeeze of lemon juice.  Serve warm on slices of toasted or grilled baguette or hearty bread of your choosing.

Here are some of our pizza creations.  Toppings included: shaved asparagus, fire roasted red peppers, spinach, green onion, mushroom, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese and pepperoni (for Olivia and Dennis.)