Sun-Dried Tomato Tapenade with Crostini (Cooking Light)

I made this zingy little Cooking Light appetizer for a party last night.  I happened to find it on the back of my torn out recipe for the Antipasto Bowl.  Perfect!  This was my first go at it, and I had to make some alterations due to the crowd I was serving it to, and limited prep time.  Overall it was very tasty, somewhat clean, and garnered good reviews from the party goers.  I’ve included the exact recipe, but my notes are included below.

2 cups boiling water    I skipped this part, see below.

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed without oil (about 3 oz.)    I could only find them packed with oil and various mystery herbs.  I had to be quick, and they already seemed really soft so I forewent the boiling.

1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted

2 tbl dried basil    I somehow lost this in the bowels of my crammed pantry, so had to skip it.

2 tbl fresh lemon juice   I only had concentrate in the plastic lemon on hand.

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tsp olive oil    this accompanied the tomatoes in their jar, so I skipped it.

2 French bread baguettes sliced diagonally 1/2″ thick (about 72 slices)     I used 1 white and 1 wheat to please the guests and kiddos.  If I had my way, I’d serve it with Wasa crackers or veggies.  I ended up using carrots for dipping at the party, and it tasted great!  I think sliced zucchini, celery or squash would work as well.

Cooking spray    I used organic olive oil in a can.  I would brush on the oil next time, as the olive spray gave the crostini a bit of a funk-factor.

Chopped fresh parsley     Totally bummed about this one – bought and forgot!  Oh well.

Strikethroughs indicate skipped portions

1.  Combine boiling water and sun-dried tomatoes; cover and let stand 15 minutes or until soft.  Drain tomatoes in  a colander over a bowl, reserving 3/4 liquid.  Combine tomatoes, reserved liquid, olives, basil, lemon juice, and garlic in a blender or food processor; process until smoothNOTE ABOUT THE BLENDER – I don’t have a food processor, but after this mixing attempt, I’m seriously considering one.  I stayed the course because I had to clean the thing anyway, but this took forever.  I think I could’ve chopped the olives much faster, and the whole thing would have beeen worth the little bit of resulting chunkiness.  Place tomato mixture in a small bowl; stir in oil.  Cover and chill.

2.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3.  Place the bread slices on 2 baking sheets covered with foil.  Lightly coat bread slices with cooking spray.  Bake at 350 degrees for 4 minutes.  Turn bread slices over; lightly coat with cooking spray.  Bake an additional 4 minutes.  Cool completely.  In my haste I moved the crostini to the serving dish.  Even though they were cool, nestling them together that soon brought in moisture, making them less crisp.  I’d wait much longer next time.

4.  Garnish tapenade with parsley, if desired; serve with crostini.

Yield:  24 servings (serving size 3 crostini and 1 tbl tapenade).