Friday, December 24, 2010
Pesto Veggie Baguettes
The Creamy Pesto Spread:
1/2 c. pinenuts, toasted (look below for toasting instructions if you are unfamiliar!)
1/2 c. fresh basil (I have to admit, sometimes I've been known to cheat on this step and just buy a tube of fresh basil...I just use the whole thing instead of rinsing and chopping...shhhh, don't tell!)
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. freshly smashed garlic (or again, cheat and use the tube!)
1 t. sea salt
1 t. lemon juice
-In a small saute pan toast 1/2 c. of pinenuts over medium heat. Toss or stir frequently, because they'll burn quickly. You'll know they're done when they're nicely browned, and you can smell them!
-Throw all these ingredients into a food processor, and mix until smooth and thick!
1 container + 1/2 c. Tofutti Better than Cream Cheese
1/2 c. Tofutti Better than Sour Cream
-Blend in the food processor until smooth! That's it...SO easy!
-I always buy the Arnie's brand Multigrain French Loaf, however, I am aware that it is not available in all grocery stores...so here's what you do: Fine a multi grain french loaf that is nice and firm (but not tough) in texture. You need it to hold up to all the veggies and spread, but not be too tough to bite into. Also, try to get one that isn't too fat...they tend to be really soft in the middle, and, these are supposed to be nice, small servings.
-Slice the bread into rounds, about 1/8-1/4" thick (just depends on how much bread you want under there)
-There are SO many amazing veggies you can use to top this, so here is what I typically try to do...think color variety. Go for dark greens, bright yellows, reds, and oranges...and then think about taste variety. Your typical veggie pizza has broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and sometimes radishes, but here are some other options:
chopped fresh spinach
bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green)
roasted red peppers
-Basically, any crunchy, satisfying veggie you love! Now, since these single, serving portions are small, make sure your veggies are chopped up really small, so you can fit as many as you want to on there!
-I know this is a "no-brainer", but just in case...
-Take the baguette, spread liberally with Creamy Pesto Spread
-Top with all the veggies you can fit on there! (The Pesto Spread has a nice strong (but not too strong) flavor, that will hold up to a lot of veggies, so load it up!!)
-Go ahead, try it...yeah...it's THAT good! Bet you didn't think you could ever be so satisfied with whole grains and raw veggies, did you?!