Wish Upon A Dish: Healthy Brunch Dish - Recipe Redux Challenge, May 2013

May 21, 2013

Healthy Brunch Dish - Recipe Redux Challenge, May 2013

The theme for our May Recipe Redux Challenge is to create a "Healthy Brunch Dish".
Tired of casseroles and wanting to stay away from very traditional brunch dishes, I thought of what I would want on a buffet table if I was invited to a shower brunch.

When ever I make anything baked or placed on pieces of crostini, they are usually the first to disappear.
I love panzanella salads so what better dish to make than a deconstructed panzanella.

A true panzanella contains garlic, anchovy, capers, red peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and sweet onion. A splash of good quality olive oil and very good red wine vinegar tossed with firm, gutsy, country bread that is toasted and cut into cubes. Tell me that doesn't sound like the makings for bruschetta.

I got to work dicing all my vegetables into 1/4" cubes and instead of anchovies and capers, I added prosciutto for that salty component.
The other vegetable not often found in Italian salads is avocado and I thought it was about time I embraced this wonder food and bruschetta, the perfect vehicle.

When I know I am making bruschetta I roast two heads of garlic and mash them with a touch of olive oil and salt. This is the 'butter' for the bread. It also helps to stop the vegetable juices from making the bread soggy which in the case of finger foods, is a good thing.

At home I lay out the ingredients and we make our own but entertaining demands a composed platter.
Make 1/3 with avocado, 1/3 with extra basil and and 1/3 plain. Let your guests choose. I would also place extra avocado in a bowl for those that want more.

Panzanella Bruschetta

makes 10-12

* 10" loaf of crusty bread, sliced into 3/8" slices
* 1 medium tomato, sliced, salted and drained on towels
* 1 thick slice prosciutto
* 2" slice of fresh mozzarella
* 1 roasted red or yellow pepper
* 1/4" red onion
* 1 large garlic clove, minced
* 10 leaves of basil
* 1 tablespoon good quality red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar
* 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
* Fresh black pepper
* Sea salt
* 1/2 medium avocado
* 2 heads of roasted garlic

Toast or grill the bread until it browned on both sides.
Dice all the vegetables into 1/4" cubes.
Mince the basil and mash the roasted garlic.
Place everything in a large bowl and add the oil, vinegar, pepper and salt to taste.
Spread garlic paste on slices of toasted bread, spoon a tablespoon of vegetable mixture on top of paste and place on a large platter. Sprinkle more basil for garnish and drizzle more oil on each.

This is such a nice diversion from the plain tomato & onion bruschetta, people will want to know what you added.
A great dish to have al fresco with a light Sangria before a grilled dinner, or as an hors d'oeuvre on a brunch table.
Healthy, flavorful and easy. Make only what you think your guests will eat because the mozzarella does not hold well overnight.

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Katelyn Castro said...

I love how you use garlic and olive oil as the "butter" of this recipe! Your panzanella bruschetta seems like a nice change from the typical tomato and onion bruschetta. I'm an intern with the Meal Makeover Moms for the next few weeks and I'm having a blast reading these recipe redux blog posts.

Dixya said...

i like a dish I can simply pick and enjoy.

Serena said...

You are so right! Anything on toasted bread is always the first to disappear on a buffet! Love the addition of avocado!

Danielle Omar said...

Love the avocado, too! All great ideas to kick up bruschetta a few notches!

Deanna - Teaspoon of Spice said...

This is so my kind of thing - I love both panzanella and crostini (clearly I'm an Italian and bread fan) so really like your recipe twist - great idea for brunch (or lunch for me later today :)

Lauren said...

This looks delicious! Bruschetta has always been a favorite of mine and I love how you used avocado with it! Great idea