Roasted Bruschetta with Toasted Spiced Sourdough

Bruschetta is known for rather simple ingredients: tomatoes, basil, and toasted bread. The ingredients in this recipe don’t vary too much from the classic; however the preparation method is different. Typically, the tomatoes are diced and flavored without cooking. In this version, the vegetables are roasted for a deeper, caramelized flavor. Additionally, tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, which is better absorbed by the body after cooking. Lycopene is also fat-soluble, so be sure not to skimp on the olive oil called for in this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 whole head plus 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Vidalia onion, cut in half
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh basil
  • 2 Tbsp. aged balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. plus ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds, crushed with fingers
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 sourdough baguette
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place tomatoes and onion in a baking dish, and drizzle with 1 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place head of garlic on baking rack. Cook until onions and tomatoes are caramelized, about 45 minutes.

2. Remove vegetables from oven and allow to cool. Preheat broiler. In the meantime, slice sourdough into 1” thick slices. Combine ¼ cup of olive oil with minced garlic, fennel, oregano, and crushed red pepper flakes. Brush each slice of bread with olive oil mixture. Place sliced bread under broiler and brown on each side, watching closely.

3. Remove bread and place aside. Dice roasted onion once cooled. Combine with tomatoes. Remove skin from garlic and cut off one end of head. Squeeze roasted garlic out into the tomato mixture. Add basil, balsamic vinegar, remaining tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

4. Top toasted bread with tomato mixture and enjoy!

Suggestions:

  • Use a multigrain or whole wheat baguette for extra fiber.
  • Combine roasted tomato mixture with whole wheat pasta and low-fat mozzarella or cannellini beans for a vegetarian meal.
  • Replace baguette with grilled Southern Foods At Home chicken breast for a low-carbohydrate option.

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