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Hi blog – it’s been a while! Sorry about my hiatus…there’s no real excuse – I’ve been cooking a lot but just haven’t taken the time to take the pics! Lots been going on with life and work – but have really been enjoying the end of summer/beginning of fall. Our new house, well, the house we’ve been in since June, has a fenced in backyard – it’s been so great to be able to sit out there and just hang out with N…that’s been my favorite part of summer so far!

Here’s a recipe that I’m actually in love with! It’s a version of Giada’s sundried tomato jam crostini. I love a crostini. Like – I could eat them for dinner and be content! Bread – with a multiple of toppings…yes please!

I modified this recipe for one major reason…I didn’t feel like leaving the house to buy anything else!

Here’s what you’ll need: sundried tomatoes, onion, fresh rosemary (substituted for thyme), olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, sugar, water, and salt and pepper. For the crostini part of the recipe you’ll need some type of bread – I had a roll of French loaf bread from Pillsbury…not my first choice – but I had it so whatever. You’ll also need room temperature cream cheese (substituted for Giada’s goat cheese). I forgot to include the garlic and sugar in the group shot!

Side note: cream cheese is an amazing substitute for goat cheese – it’s at least $5 cheaper – and gives you the same creaminess. Now – don’t get me wrong – I love, love, love goat cheese – the tanginess is something that can’t be beat – but for something like this crostini, where the jam is the star, cream cheese is fabulous to use instead. And more economic. Which is always important!

And here’s what you’ll need to do: slice the onion (small to medium in size) in half, then slice into thin half-sized moon shapes – add this to a pan with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sauté for 3-5 minutes until wilted and translucent. Season the onions with a bit of salt and pepper. I think it’s super important in any dish you are making that you continually season when you add new ingredients to the dish.

Slice the sundried tomatoes into strips and add these to the pan with the onions. Cook again for a few minutes. Another modification from Giada’s recipe is that I used tomatoes that were not packed in oil.

While the onions and tomatoes are cooking, finely mince the rosemary and 1 garlic clove.

Add the rosemary, garlic, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the onions and tomatoes. Stir until sugar is dissolved – then bring to a low simmer. About medium-low heat. Cover with a lid and allow the jam to cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes remove the lid and allow the last remaining water evaporate to create the jam. Yum

While the jam is coming together you can get your bread ready – super simple – just slice the bread into ½” slices – lay on a baking sheet and drizzle over extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 5-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven – depending on how crispy you like your bread base. I like mine super crispy – Naaman likes his more soft – so I baked mine for a few minutes until the slices had that toasted quality

Now it’s time to assemble! Take a butter knife and spread the room temperature cream cheese onto the slice of bread – I used about a teaspoon of cream cheese on each slice – then top with a generous serving of the sundried tomato jam. And then eat until your heart is content

We ate these while standing in the kitchen — I almost wasn’t sure if we would be able to take a picture of them since we were eating them so fast!

The flavor is incredibly delicious…sweet, tangy, satisfying – then you get that great creaminess from the cream cheese – and the wonderful crunch from the bread – so enjoyable – and perfect for a party appetizer because they taste great at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Sundried Tomato Jam
Makes 24 servings
Click here for recipe – modified from Giada.

Ingredients
5-6 ounces sundried tomatoes – dry
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 small to medium sized onion – thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1.5 cup water
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Crostini:
1 baguette, cut into 3/4-inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
5 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

Directions:

  1. Slice the onion (small to medium in size) in half, then slice into thin half-sized moon shapes – add this to a pan with 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and sauté for 3-5 minutes until wilted and translucent. Season the onions with a bit of salt and pepper.
  2. Slice the sundried tomatoes into strips and add these to the pan with the onions. Cook again for a few minutes. Another modification from Giada’s recipe is that I used tomatoes that were not packed in oil.
  3. While the onions and tomatoes are cooking, finely mince the rosemary and 1 garlic clove.
  4. Add the rosemary, garlic, water, sugar, salt and pepper to the onions and tomatoes. Stir until sugar is dissolved – then bring to a low simmer. About medium-low heat. Cover with a lid and allow the jam to cook for 30 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes remove the lid and allow the last remaining water evaporate to create the jam.
  6. While the jam is coming together you can get your bread ready – super simple – just slice the bread into ½” slices – lay on a baking sheet and drizzle over extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 5-8 minutes in a 350 degree oven – depending on how crispy you like your bread base.
  7. Now it’s time to assemble! Take a butter knife and spread the room temperature cream cheese onto the slice of bread – I used about a teaspoon of cream cheese on each slice – then top with a generous serving of the sundried tomato jam.
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