February 06, 2015

Serve up toast with the most as a quick, playful appetizer this award season.

START HERESlice 1 (4-ounce) whole-wheat French bread baguette into 8 thin slices; arrange on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Toast bread under broiler 3 minutes or until golden brown, turning slices halfway through. Remove from oven; pile on one of the following wow-worthy toppers.

from top to bottomBLACK-EYED PEA, BACON, AND PICKLED OKRACombine 1 drained (15-ounce) can unsalted black-eyed peas, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon water, 2 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 peeled garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper in the bowl of a food processor; process until smooth. Divide puree over toasts. Top each with ½ slice cooked and crumbled bacon and 1 pod drained pickled okra, sliced into rounds.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 toast)CALORIES 100; FAT 4.9g (sat 1g); SODIUM 177mg

LEMONY HERBED RICOTTA AND ROASTED TOMATOPreheat oven to 450°. Toss 1 pint cherry tomatoes with 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon granulated sugar; bake at 450° on a jelly-roll pan 20 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind, and 1 tablespoon lemon juice into ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese. Spread 1½ tablespoons ricotta mixture over each toast; top with roasted tomatoes. Sprinkle toasts evenly with 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 toast)CALORIES 85; FAT 3.9g (sat 1.4g); SODIUM 193mg

PEAR, BRIE, AND BALSAMICPreheat oven to 400°. Divide 3 ounces Brie cheese over toasts; arrange on a jelly-roll pan. Bake at 400° for 3 minutes. Slice 1 ripe Bartlett pear into thin slices; fan 3 to 4 slices over each toast. Combine 2 teaspoons honey and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar in a bowl. Drizzle ½ teaspoon honey-balsamic mixture over each toast slice.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 toast)CALORIES 84; FAT 3.2g (sat 1.9g); SODIUM 140mg

CHOCOLATE-TANGERINESpread each toast slice with 1 tablespoon chocolate-hazelnut spread. Top each with 3 tangerine slices. Sprinkle toasts evenly with ¼ teaspoon smoked or regular sea salt.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 toast)CALORIES 136; FAT 5.8g (sat 1.8g); SODIUM 137mg

SMOKED TROUT AND DILL CREAMCombine ¼ cup crème fraîche, ¼ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1½ tablespoons prepared horseradish, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt in a bowl. Divide cream evenly over toasts; top each with ¼ ounce smoked trout, skinned.SERVES 8 (serving size: 1 toast)CALORIES 74; FAT 3.5g (sat 1.9g); SODIUM 190mg

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