Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”) is an Italian appetizer usually served with tomato, garlic and basil on toasted bread, but I say, why not have it for breakfast? It is, after all, just a fancy way of making toast, right? In this recipe, I use creamy avocado, rich, roasted chestnut and a bright pomegranate aril topping.

Chestnut Bruschetta

Chestnuts and bruschetta are a rare combination.  Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”) is an Italian appetizer usually served with tomato, garlic and basil on toasted bread, but I say, why not have it for breakfast? It is, after all, just a fancy way of making toast, right?   In this recipe, I use creamy avocado, rich, roasted chestnuts and a bright pomegranate aril topping.  The combination is fabulous. The fruit adds sweetness and crunch to the creamy avocado and chestnuts.  The toast is substantial enough to hold up to all of these flavors.

It’s also important to note that you don’t have to look too far for quality vegan bread.  I usually get mine in my grocer’s bakery section at Ralph’s supermarket.  It may be called Kroger’s in your area.  These breads are usually not labeled vegan, so you have to read the ingredients on the label, but you will find that there are many from which to choose.  In this recipe I chose a beautiful Ciabatta bread that is soft on the inside with a thicker chewy crust.  It serves as a substantial base for this breakfast, with toppings that are beautiful to look at as well as taste.  And while I love it for breakfast, you can always serve it as an appetizer, as bruschetta was originally intended.

Total Time:  15 minutes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Level: Easy

Yields: 2 servings

 chestnuts

·         4 thick slices (about ½ inch thick), cut on the diagonal, loaf good quality bread such as ciabatta, but any bread will do

·         Olive oil

·         6 whole chestnuts in shell

·         ¾ cup avocado

·         ½ t. lemon

·         2 T. pomegranate arils

·         Salt & fresh ground black pepper

Directions

 1.  Put the chestnuts on a cutting board, flat side down.  Using a sharp knife, cut a criss-cross cuts into the top of the chestnut, cutting through the thick shell and about ½ to ¾ of the way through the chestnut meat.

2.  Put the chestnuts on a baking pan underneath the broiler for 5-10 minutes until they open up at the cut seam.  Check the regularly, if the shells turn black they have been in too long.  Remove and let sit until they are cool enough to touch.

3.  Brush the bread on one side lightly with olive oil and toast in toaster or under a broiler for about 5 minutes, until bread is crispy and brown.

4. Mash the avocado and lemon in a bowl.  Add a generous pinch of salt and about 5 grinds of fresh black peppercorns from your pepper mill.  If you do not have a pepper mill, use a generous pinch of pepper.  Set aside.

5.  Remove shells from the chestnuts.  There will be a thick hard brown shell and an inner softer shell.  When the shells have been removed, you will have a creamy yellow-white chestnut.  Cut them into thin slices.  You only need four chestnuts for this dish, but I suggested six because some chestnuts do not turn out as planned.  If the chestnut has green on the inside, it is moldy – discard immediately.  If you cannot get the inner shell off, discard.

6. Spread the avocado on the toasted bread.  Arrange chestnut slices on top of avocado.  Sprinkle pomegranate arils on top and serve.