Saturday, April 5, 2008

Easy Bread Spread

This is one of my very favorite Dainty tricks: I buy a nice loaf of "Take and Bake" bread (get the whole wheat kind for extra fiber!) from the bakery of my grocery story (the beloved Harris Teeter) and dress it up for company. This spread I created the other night is delicious and easy. You can make huge batches of it and refrigerate it -- as I used to do with the full-fattening version I once made. It's only 1 point on WW, and around 100 calories (estimated). Plus the whole Wheat bread, that makes an easy and delicious 3 points for 1/4 a slender loaf!

Bread Spread

Preheat your broiler to 500.

You'll need:

1 baked baguette, whole wheat, preferably
1/2 lemon: the zest and juice
1 -- 2 oz Feta cheese (you can use flavored or regular, depending on what flavor medley you want with the main dish)
1 triangle of "Laughing Cow" lite cheese -- any flavor!
1 -- 2 T. minced garlic (to taste)
freshly chopped basil, parsley or chives -- about 1 -- 2 T. each, or whatever you may be in the mood for.
1/4 C. fat-free butter spray (Parkay or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, or you can substitute margarine of any brand, so long as it's softened before you toss it in the food processor)

This is a recipe full of variables, which you can use to your advantage. If you want to make a garlic bread, then use more garlic, and season it with chopped chives and parsley, plus use the garlic flavored Laughing Cow cheese. If you want a lighter, herbier taste, go with plain cheese, chopped basil and then add a little salt and pepper. Be creative! If I'm serving a heavy, flavorful dish, I go with a plainer bread, whereas if I'm serving a more bland pasta dish, I serve the garlic flavor.

First slice your baguette down its full-length so you've got two long, even halves of the loaf. Then gently score each half into 8 equal portions (so you can easily cut it into pieces later, and also to allow the spread to melt into these cracks). Now toss your lemon zest, juice, and cheese into the food processor and let them get good and blended. Finally blend in the butter substitute (or margarine) and get the spread nice and combined (using your spatula to smoosh down unruly ingredients if necessary in the blending process). Take the spread and divide it, spreading each half evenly over your baguette halves. Then broil the bread 5 inches from the heat, about 5 minutes or until golden and bubbly.

This is so good, my husband always goes back for seconds, and he's not even a bread freak like I am!

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