Take a slice of crusty bread, stick a topping on it, and call it bruschetta. Everyone, everywhere, has some cool and original bruschetta, or even a wonderful traditional one. There’s a reason for that: it’s great food! You can share it, keep it all to yourself, eat it with your fingers or be polite and use a knife and fork. I could go on and on, but you know all this.
What I wanted was a little departure from the basics. I’m not normally a piñata-popping kind of girl, but Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, after all, and the idea of a cilantro-topped bruschetta just seemed too good to ignore. The beauty of this super-tasty snack is that you really can make it your own. Use my recipe as a guideline, but tweak the flavor mix and intensity depending on how spicy a mood you’re in.
I didn’t want big ol’ chunks of avocado weighing the thing down, but really, it would be a crime NOT to include avocado. A big shout–out here to my friend Lauren @wholelivinglauren who suggested the avocado cream (surprise! there’s no cream in it). This super easy blend did the trick. Kind of pretty, right? It adds the perfect pop to top the whole thing off.
Cinco de Mayo Bruschetta:
Baguette – maybe next time I’ll try a tortilla, and I’ll let you know how that works out.
- Cut on a steep diagonal into 1/4 inch–thick slices. Place on a baking sheet, spray or lightly brush with olive oil, and bake for 3 minutes at 350°. Turn each slice, spray or brush, and bake another 3 minutes. Allow to cool on a rack, leaving the oven turned on.
Chopped ripe yellow and red tomatoes — remove seeds and drain while preparing the bean mix.
Cilantro, 1 bunch, chopped
Lime slices for garnish — use a mandoline to get them paper-thin.
For the base:
Mashed (cooked or canned) black beans & red beans
- I used Kroger Simple Truth organic Tri-Bean Blend (14.5 oz can) – you can use any canned for pre-cooked dried beans
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 t ground cumin
- Dash of ground coriander
- ¼ t kosher flake salt
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 t olive oil
- Dash of Penzey’s Adobo seasoning (optional) or another mix (such as a no-sodium taco seasoning) if you like.
I’m a huge fan of Penzey’s, but you can use whatever you’ve got on hand. If you’re ever in a city where you can visit a Penzey’s store, go in and dare yourself not to walk out with several new recipes and at least one herb, spice, or blend you suddenly can’t live without. www.penzeys
Return cooled baguette toasts to the baking sheet; top each with a rounded tablespoon of bean mixture. Bake for 3–5 minutes, until just warm.
Top with the chopped and drained tomatoes, stripe with avocado cream, and garnish with cilantro and a slice of lime.
Avocado Cream — mix all in Vitamix or food processor until creamy. Transfer to a squirt bottle or a heavy-duty zip-top bag. Seal the bag and snip a tiny bit from the corner to decorate the bruschetta.
- 2 large avocados, peeled and pit removed
- 1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lime
Nutrition note: beans are a fabulous source of plant–based protein as well as fiber, and avocados are one of the healthiest fats you can eat. Both help you feel and stay full, so besides being delicious, these Cinco de Mayo toasts are great for you!