Rustic Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Dip with Parmesan Crostinis

I, like everyone else everywhere, started out the year with high hopes that included organizing my craft room with custom made labels that I found on Pinterest, purging my closet of anything I hadn’t worn in over a year and losing 50 pounds in two weeks.

Rustic Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Dip with Parmesan Crostinis

Let me break these down for you, one at a time.

The craft room is a dump, and not just for craft supplies, but for everything. I mean everything. I will be able to comfortably survive in my “craft room” when the zombie apocalypse hits. I have winter coats and boots, enough tax records to burn for a year and an embarrassing amount of candy. Just the other day, I stumbled upon an unopened Christmas gift in there. Pecan Turtles. The apocalypse is going to be delicious. It’s not that I haven’t done anything with the craft supplies. They are now all crammed haphazardly into one hutch. As long as no one walks into that room too quickly, we’re fine.

I nailed the second one. I not only tore through my own closet on a mission, but Layla’s as well. I rolled up to Goodwill like I owned the place, my mom-SUV packed to the brim with trash bags (classy) filled with garments both too big and too small for me, unmatched socks (sorry Goodwill), and all the toys that I found stuffed in the back of Layla’s closet that she hadn’t touched in a year. Task? Crushed.

Rustic Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Dip with Parmesan Crostinis

I think we all know how the final “goal” went. Besides the fact that it is physically impossible to lose 50 pounds in two weeks, I have this condition. A condition that compels me to eat bread and cheese washed down with red wine until I literally can’t move. Again, I haven’t totally balked on this goal. I have lost 5, maybe 6 pounds, but I have come to the realization that any weight loss I experience is going to be slow and drawn out because I would rather have to shop in the “Women’s” section of Target for a little bit longer than end up gorging myself on bread and wine while I sit weeping under the kitchen table, ashamed of my unhealthy relationship with carbs.

Rustic Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Dip with Parmesan Crostinis

Even the darkest feelings can be extinguished with a good baguette, a bottle of red and a chunk of fresh mozzarella. As you can plainly see from this recipe, I am not ready to give up that crutch. So, yes, carrot sticks and fat-free, organic Greek yogurt are now a part of my diet, but so still is this dip. And that is what I consider to be balance.

Rustic Tomato and Fresh Mozzarella Dip with Parmesan Crostinis
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
For Crostinis
  • 1 baguette
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
For the Dip
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¾ cup sweet white wine
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 3 large basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Method
  1. Set your oven to a low broil.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Slice the baguette into thin slices, arrange in a single layer on the cookie sheet, brush each slice with olive oil and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan.
  4. Place under the broiler until a light golden brown and cheese just begins to bubble, 2-5 minutes depending on your oven. Leave the broiler on.
  5. In a large skillet that can be transferred to the oven, saute the red pepper, onion and garlic in olive oil until the peppers are translucent.
  6. Very carefully add the wine to the pan and simmer until the wine is reduced by nearly half.
  7. Add chicken stock, crushed tomatoes, capers, sugar and Parmesan to to sauce and simmer on low for 5-10 minutes until the Parmesan is fully melted.
  8. Cover the top of the sauce with mozzarella slices and place skillet under the broiler until the mozzarella is melted and beginning to bubble, about 5 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle chopped basil on top and drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of oil oil over dip. Serve with crostinis.
 

My love affair with food began on stepstools in the kitchens of the women in my family. Handing my great-grandmother carrots to grate for coleslaw, licking the beaters covered in my grandmother’s peanut butter frosting, and watching my mother cook up Italian dishes covered in cheese. To this day, I love cheese. Besides cheese, I love painting, ocean air, and the smell of tar after it’s rained. My husband Josh and I have created a little suburban farm with our Layla-Bug, a ridiculously hyper dog, and a one-eyed chicken. Someday, we hope to upgrade to a real country farm.

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