Garlic bread as a first course—or maybe, as the salad course (photo © California Avocado Commission).
What’s better than garlic bread? Garlic bread crostini!
This appetizer, first course or snack elevates the humble garlic bread we know and love into a fancy (and nutritious) affair.
Garlic bread is toasted and topped with garlic butter or garlic-infused oil. Crostini are toasts topped with any variety of spreads, vegetables and proteins.
The California Avocado Commission fused the two concepts to create garlic bread loaded with avocado, spinach and tomatoes.
It has so many veggies, you can even serve it as the “salad course.”
You can adjust the toppings as you wish: Use different greens, add bacon and/or green onion, etc.
Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 10 minutes. It is very easy to make the balsamic glaze rather than buy it: Just reduce a bottle of balsamic vinegar (not the top stuff) into a syrup.
For a wine pairing, California Avocado suggests Petite Syrah.
Ingredients For 4 Servings
1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Melt the butter, add in 2/3 of the garlic, season with salt and pepper. Place the bread on a baking sheet and liberally brush it with the garlic butter.
2. MAKE the glaze. Pour the vinegar into a pan, add the brown sugar and stir over medium heat, whisking constantly until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to low and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Cool. If not using that day, store in a jar in the fridge.
3. SAUTÉ 2 teaspoons of oil and the remaining garlic for 1 minute, in a small skillet. Add the spinach and stir just until it begins to wilt. Remove from the heat, squeeze in a few drops of lemon juice, stir and spread the topping on the prepared bread. In the same pan…
4. ADD the tomatoes and peppers; sauté for 2 minutes. Place atop the spinach; season with salt and pepper or for more heat, cayenne or chile flakes. Bake for 10-12 minutes. While the bread bakes…
5. CUT the avocado into bite-sized chunks. Toss the avocado with 1 teaspoon oil, more salt and red pepper as desired and a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Top the baked garlic bread with avocado and drizzle with balsamic reduction/glaze. Serve warm.
*A large Hass avocado, about 8 ounces, is recommended for this recipe. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.
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