One of my favorite quick appetizers this time of the year is Mozzarella Basil Bruschetta - using fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden.
I always keep Italian bread on hand in the freezer so I can prepare this tasty appetizer in just a few minutes. I've also served it to guests as a light lunch along with cup up fresh fruit. Very refreshing.
Mozzarella Basil Bruschetta
6 slices Italian bread, 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 slices mozzarella cheese, halved
Cut each slice of bread in half; place on an ungreased baking sheet. Brush with oil. In a small bowl, combine the tomato, basil, pepper and salt. Spoon 1 tablespoon full over each piece of bread; top with cheese and remaining tomato mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Hot Ham Subs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh basil, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 submarine rolls, split
12 slices deli ham
12 slices tomato
12 slices part skim milk mozzarella cheese
12 fresh basil leaves
4 slices sweet onion, cut in half
8 slices provolone cheese
In a jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the first seven ingredients; shake well. Generously drizzle dressing over cut sides of buns. On bun bottoms, layer the ham, tomato and mozzarella cheese. On bun tops, layer the basil leaves, onion and provolone cheese. Place on a baking sheet. Broil 6-8 inches from the heat for 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted. Place bun tops over bottoms; serve immediately.
Zucchini and Mozzarella Medley
Serving size: 4
3 cups zucchini slices
1 cup sliced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 medium tomato, cut into 12 wedges
1 cup part skim milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
In a large skillet, saut the zucchini, onion, garlic and seasonings in butter until crisp-tender. Gently stir in tomato wedges; sprinkle with cheese. Remove from the heat; cover and let stand for 1-2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
GARY'S TIP: To chop fresh basil or any fresh herb quickly, remove the leaves from the stems and cut with kitchen scissors. It works great.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.
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