Bruschetta with Leafy Green Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes

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Pesto + Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes + Toasted Ciabatta = Perfect  Summer Appetizer.  Warning!  May not leave room for dinner…

You could say I’m on a pesto kick.  I posted a recipe for Kale Pesto Pasta earlier this week, for Meatless Monday, (Click link for recipe or scroll down for more pesto recipes) but I obviously didn’t get enough since I was still craving those yummy flavors. Plus, earlier in the day, I had gathered bunches of baby kale and arugula along with fresh tomatoes from my garden.  Add to that the fresh ciabatta loaf that I just bought, and all the arrows lined up resulting in Kale-Arugula Pesto spread on toasted sliced ciabatta and topped with fresh heirloom tomatoes=Heaven

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I made this pesto with kale and arugula but any dark leafy greens will work in any combination.  It’s a great way to use up large quantities of greens from your garden or CSA box, especially if you are tired of salads and casseroles.  Even though it tastes pretty decadent, this little bruschetta offers a sneaky amount of nutrition; fiber, vitamins, minerals and protein, but you would never know by the taste…

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For those adventurous readers, or just lovers of pesto, check out some of the other types of pesto I have already tried by clicking on the links below.  Loved them all!

Kale Pesto Pasta

Roasted Rainbow Carrots with Carrot Top Pesto

Avocado Pesto Pasta

Bow Ties with Broccoli Pesto

TIPS:  Everything can be made ahead of time (up to 2-3 hours) and set aside to be assembled at the last minute.  Or make pesto a day ahead of time and store in the refrigerator.  Bring to room temperature before serving.  To store any leftover pesto, cover with a thin layer of olive oil before refrigerating to prevent it from turning brown.

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BRUSCHETTA WITH LEAFY GREEN PESTO AND HEIRLOOM TOMATOES

1 loaf ciabetta or sourdough
3-4 large tomatoes
1 cup pesto *recipe below

PESTO

3 cups roughly chopped dark leafy greens(kale, arugula, collard, mustard, etc.)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup pinenuts (walnuts, cashews or pistachios)
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
1 cup grated parmesan

TOPPINGS (OPTIONAL)
toasted pine nuts
sliced or chopped basil
shredded parmesan, goat cheese or feta

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  • Roughly chop the leafy greens and place them in a food processor with the pinenuts and garlic. Pulse until coarsely chopped.

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  • With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil to form a smooth sauce. Add the salt, lemon zest and parmesan and pulse to combine.

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  • Pour the pesto into a large bowl and set aside.

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  • Chop tomatoes and place in a medium bowl, set aside.  You can always drizzle with a bit of balsamic vinegar, if desired, but if your tomatoes are ripe, they probably are sweet enough on their own.

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  • Slice ciabatta into one half inch slices.

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  • Place ciabatta on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Broil 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown, then turn brush with oil and broil the other side. Remove from heat and let cool.

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  • Spread a tablespoon of pesto on each slice of bread.

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  • Top with a spoonful of tomatoes and any desired toppings.

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  • Or set out a bruschetta bar and let your guests design their own.

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  • Serve at room temperature.

Bruschetta with Leafy Green Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
20150820_201340

1 loaf ciabetta or sourdough
3-4 large tomatoes
1 cup pesto *recipe below

PESTO

3 cups roughly chopped dark leafy greens(kale, arugula, collard, mustard, etc.)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup pinenuts (walnuts, cashews or pistachios)
1 cup olive oil
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp salt
1 cup grated parmesan

TOPPINGS (OPTIONAL)
toasted pine nuts
sliced or chopped basil
shredded parmesan, goat cheese or feta

  • Roughly chop the leafy greens and place them in a food processor with the pinenuts and garlic. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  • With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil to form a smooth sauce.
  • Add the salt, lemon zest and parmesan and pulse to combine.
  • Pour the pesto into a large bowl and set aside.
  • Chop tomatoes and place in a medium bowl, set aside
  • Slice ciabatta into one half inch slices.
  • Place ciabatta on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil
  • Broil 3 to 4 minutes until golden brown, then turn brush with oil and broil the other side.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Spread a tablespoon of pesto on each slice of bread.
  • Top with a spoonful of tomatoes and any desired toppings.
  • Or set out a bruschetta bar and let your guests design their own.
  • Serve at room temperature.

2 thoughts on “Bruschetta with Leafy Green Pesto and Heirloom Tomatoes

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