Do you have a garden? If so, I commend you. While I do grow some herbs, I really don’t have a robust garden with veggies and lots of flowers. It’s been a goal of mine for some time, but I just haven’t gotten there yet. Maybe this year will be my year! Anyway…why am I talking about the garden in February? This Sunday is QVC’s all-day Spring Fever™ Garden Special and while I won’t be joining you at Noon ET for In the Kitchen with David, I will be with you from 1-4pm ET helping you get ready for the growing season ahead.
We don't usually create recipes on days when we won't have an ITKWD, but how could I talk about the garden and not make something fresh? So here’s a BONUS easy, five-ingredient recipe (and remember—you already have salt, pepper, and olive oil at home so they’re not part of the “five”) with European influence and American appeal: Tomato Crostini.
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Halve the tomatoes horizontally. Gently squeeze them to remove most of the seeds and discard the seeds. Place a metal grater over a large mixing bowl and gently rub the face of the tomatoes into the grater until all of the flesh is grated. Discard the skins.
Grate the garlic clove into the bowl. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil, and tomato paste to the bowl and stir until evenly incorporated. Place the mixture in an air-tight container and refrigerate until needed.
Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F.
Cut the ciabatta into 6 rectangles. Then, halve the pieces horizontally so you have long, thin pieces. Pull out some of the soft insides, so just a little is left in the crust. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 8–10 minutes, or until lightly browned on the edges. Cool on a wire rack for 1 minute.
Divide the tomato mixture evenly among the warm bread pieces and spread. Sprinkle a little chopped fresh parsley on top, as a garnish, if desired.
Keep this recipe handy for the summertime when tomatoes are in peak season. As for now, I'd be willing to bet your local grocery store carries vine-ripened tomatoes. Find them, buy them, make this crostini, and you’ll be able to taste the summertime—in February.
If you’re hosting a party this weekend, serve this because it's basic and it’s easy. But, you can also appeal to lots of different tastes by adding ingredients on top. Olives, bacon, cheese, mushrooms, scallions, fresh herbs, or any combination thereof would personalize the crostini for your guests.
Foodies, let’s go back to thinking about the garden for your blog question today. What plants are you most looking forward to seeing this spring and summer? Hydrangeas? Fresh tomatoes? Forsythia? You don’t need to have your own garden to weigh in. Remember, I’ll see you this Sunday at 1pm ET.
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