It's Friday. After narrowly escaping losing his ring finger last week in a training exercise, my hunnie's healing and back at work doing 12 hour shifts. I'm insanely bogged down between work, research, and my latest half marathon training. Despite this, I continue to be an advocate for eating at home as much as possible...it's inexpensive and you get to make/eat what you like. Even after a long day, I enjoy coming home and taking a look in the fridge and pantry to get dinner inspiration. Well, let me rephrase that: even after a long day, I enjoy coming home and getting to my cooking (as I've usually already planned out the meal in my head by lunchtime). One downfall of cooking at home is that sometimes you have to eat leftovers. Even if the food is good, I am just not crazy about leftovers. Earlier this week my hunnie and I cooked up a delicious southwestern style venison soup in the crock pot. It was good...so good that I willingly took some leftovers for lunch the next day. I came home that night desperately wanting to cook but knowing that inside my fridge was a big Tupperware bowl full of more venison soup. When life gives you soup leftovers what do you do? Well you could make Parmesan biscuits, or you could try this easy semi-homemade sun dried tomato french bread. Happily, my hunnie swallowed down the remainder of the soup over the next few days while I filled up on salad and this savoury bread.
Sun dried Tomato French Bread
1 refrigerated Pillsbury Crusty French Loaf
6-8 sun dried tomatoes
8-9 basil leaves
2 sage leaves
4-5 cloves garlic
1-2 tablespoon olive oil (or oil from the sun dried tomatoes)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
In food processor, combine sun dried tomatoes, basil,, sage, garlic and olive oil. Add in Parmesan and blend until its the consistency of pesto. On a clean countertop, sprinkle some flour and roll out the french loaf until it's roughly the shape of a rectangle. Spread tomato pesto over the dough (as if you were spreading sauce on a pizza). Evenly sprinkle the mozzarella over the tomato pesto. Roll up the dough so that it looks like an extra long cinnamon roll. Then slice the loaf lengthwise down the middle and braid the two strands (see example here). If the dough isn't quite long enough to make a full twisted round, you can do like I did and shape it into a crescent moon shape. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
As an aside, I think I will try this bread braiding method again with cinnamon and sugar for the holidays.