Month: July 2011

A Summer Toast (Tomato Basil Canapes)

Hats off (or, if you’re fair skinned like me, hats on) to my very favorite friend, Summertime. This summer, I’ve got my health in mind more than ever. So far, I’ve begun the season on a good foot. I’m on my way to achieving some fitness goals (I’m now able to run almost 2k without stopping!) Also, seeing as the (typical Montreal) bipolar weather hasn’t allowed me to obtain much of a tan, I’ve decided to embrace my paleness and accept that it’s healthier, and that I’m avoiding skin cancer. I say that as I type this in the sunshine. With SPF… 8… Moving on!

Most importantly, I’ve been cooking and eating healthier (minus the almost nightly trips to the ice cream shop… what? It’s summer, I’m allowed. Stop judging. You’re jealous.)  I’ve always found that eating light in the summer is easy, because of the abundance of fresh produce, and the absence of the desire to cook anything that involves a hot oven. Goodbye are the days of heavy potato stews, creamy casseroles and hefty roasts. Hello to the days of garden salads, fresh corn and fruit parfaits.

Now that I’ve embraced cooking for one, I actually enjoy making myself something fancy looking from time to time. For instance, on this lovely sunny afternoon, I was inspired by the basil plant growing wildly in my garden. Today is the perfect day for a basil toast, I thought to myself. While at first I had the intention of chopping the fresh basil and sprinkling it over some cold tomato sauce, I decided it would be even more ‘summery’ of me to chop up some fresh cherry tomatoes.
And well, toast just isn’t toast without a little bit of cheese now is it?

3 minutes later, I had this masterpiece.
20 minutes later, I ate it. (Taking pictures is a process!)

Tomato Basil Toasts with Cheese 
& Grenadine Lemonade  
an original recipe by allison sklar 

what you’ll need 
note: multiply quantities by the number of people you’ll be serving.

toasts:
1 medium slice rye bread
4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 slice Jarlsberg (or swiss) cheese
(would also work nicely with goat’s cheese
1 large basil leaf, chopped
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp light olive oil

lemonade:
1 cup club soda or sparkling water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grenadine
ice cubes

how to do it

Toasts: Place cheese on bread, top with tomatoes. Place in toaster oven for 3 minutes, or until cheese melts and tomatoes begin to wilt. Remove, and sprinkle basil leaves on top. Drizzle with oil & vinegar. Would also work well in conventional oven, on broiler setting for 1 to 2 minutes.
Note: this recipe is not intended for use in the microwave.

Lemonade: Mix all ingredients and enjoy immediately. Preferably under the sun.