Herbed toasts

We were trying to save money, so we decided not to buy pita bread. Maybe we'd use corn chips? Maybe we'd splurge anyway and get fried pita chips from the Lebanese deli? We couldn't agree, so we forgot to put anything on the shopping list. Then it was 3pm already. I realized that we had guests arriving soon; I was making my famous spinach "dip"*; and I wasn't sure what we'd be dipping! I opened cupboards with purpose. I found half a loaf of fine bakery bread languishing. Yes. I would make herbed toasts!

A quick trip to the herb garden. I picked fragrant leaves of tarragon, winter savory, oregano, chives. And my latest secret ingredient in everything... lavender leaves. I chopped the herbs. I sliced the bread. I preheated the oven to 350˚. I sprayed a cookie sheet. I laid out the bread. I drizzled with olive oil. I sprinkled chopped herbs. They smelled good. I shook some paprika around. Then the pièce de résistance--a dusting of hand harvested French celtic sea salt that I accidentally bought 2 weeks ago. (It was only $5 for a giant jar! I couldn't resist! Eden Foods no less!) Here's my tray before baking:

I put it in the oven for 10 minutes, then checked the toasts. I was looking for slight browning and I got it after another 5 minutes or so. (So go for 15 minutes total.) The result? Delectable, salty, herbed toasts. Perfect for spreading with my thick spinach dip.

The herbs really did make these toasts special. I am amazed at being able to just walk out my side door into the herb garden, pluck a few things, and create much more interesting and complex foods. Thank you dear plants.

* Spinach "dip": 1 small box frozen spinach**, thawed and chopped, combined with 1/2 small can of water chestnuts, chopped, plus 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup mayo and 2 crushed garlic gloves. Throw in salt & pepper. Serve with a spoon or knife because it's really too chunky to dip--this is a dip to spread.

** I suppose you could use fresh spinach, but it shrinks so much in cooking I have no idea what amount to recommend. 2 pounds maybe?

No comments: