Friday, December 24, 2010

Pesto Veggie Baguettes

You know how at most gatherings someone decides to bring a veggie pizza?  I'm always very thankful for that person!  It's one of my all time favorite things to eat at get togethers...the only problem is, almost every single ingredient used to make it (minus the veggies), is a huge no, no for vegans!  I find myself gazing longingly at it, knowing I can never have it, yet wanting it so bad!!  Tonight, I am heading to a family Christmas party that has promised to have veggie pizza on the got me thinking...why deny myself something I want so badly?  Why not create something like it, that I can eat (that coincidentally tastes better!)  This creation also saves me from having to tell my poor kids that there is yet another thing they can't eat, while all of the other kids get to!  I have replaced the crescent on the bottom with a whole grain french baguette, the cream cheese layer with my (to die for) Creamy Pesto Spread, and then topped it generously with so many gorgeously colored vegetables, that I'm pretty sure the "other" veggie pizza that shows up at the party won't even get touched!  Apologies in advance to whoever will be bringing "that" pizza!  Let's just say'll never crave the "old" veggie pizza again!

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!

The Baguette:

-I always buy the Arnie's brand Multigrain French Loaf, however, I am aware that it is not available in all grocery 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)

The Veggies:

-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)
green onions
red onions
black olives
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! 

The Assembly:

-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's THAT good!  Bet you didn't think you could ever be so satisfied with whole grains and raw veggies, did you?!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, impressively yummy Courtney! Yummy/Healthy/Simple... what more could anyone ask for? I used "Everything" Bagels.