Tis’ the season for appetizers! Let the kids help you in the kitchen as you make this Festive Bruschetta made with pesto, tomatoes, cranberries and pomegranate!
Fun and festive holiday appetizer
Kids love helping in the kitchen and Christmas usually means lots of cookie decorating, but this year let’s try Festive Bruschetta decorating! The cream cheese is like frosting and the bright colored toppings are like sprinkles! Mix and match to make a delicious and healthy appetizer. We have all of the bread sliced and toasted, and then put the toppings in smaller bowls that everyone can dish themselves.
When you toast your bread, keep your kids in mind! Do they like super crunch things? If not, then just barely toast the bread slices. Sometimes it is hard for the littles to bite into a super crunchy piece of bread, especially if it is sliced thick. And if you’re worried about the kids making a mess, they can always make this into a sandwich with another piece of bread on top! You can also slice the bread very thin and keep the toppings minimal so that they have an easier time eating it.
I chose to go with pesto and tomato because it’s red and green! You can buy your pesto from Costco (that’s what I do in the winter) or you can make some of your own. We even have a Spinach Pesto Recipe! Even though tomatoes aren’t in season in December, cherry tomatoes seem to taste fresh and flavorful year round. You aren’t using very many of them and so it won’t break the bank either. The cranberry pomegranate relish is tart because both cranberries and pomegranates have a bright tart flavor. You can always drizzle in some more honey if you want to keep it sweet or add more orange juice.
The cream cheese layer on all of them creates a good base because it keeps the bread from getting soggy from the pesto and the juices from the toppings. You can swap it out for ricotta cheese or leave it out if you’re planning on eating right away. I just like the creaminess it brings to the crunchy snack. Plus it helps hold everything together.
Make it a Competition!
Get your kiddos excited and have a decorating competition! See how inventive they can be making designs with all the toppings! If you need moe toppings, you can always add in deli meats, bell peppers, feta cheese makes great “snow” or berries! The possibilities are endless and you’ll forget all about sugar cookies in no time!
- 24 slice baguette
- 6 ounce cream cheese, low fat
- 1/4 cup pesto
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup, chopped cranberries, raw
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3/4 cup arils (seed/juice sacs) pomegranate
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- Lightly toast slices of baguette in the oven. I put my oven on broil and closely watched my slice, after about 2 minutes they were toasted and I flipped the pieces and let them broil again. Keep your kiddos in mind! If you don’t think they will like really crunchy bread, then just barely toast them!
- Spread a light layer of cream cheese (or ricotta) on each piece of bread. I zapped mine in the microwave to make it a little easier to spread on.
- On half the slices, spread about a teaspoon of pesto over the cream cheese.
- Slice your cherry tomatoes and toss in olive oil. (You can heat them over medium heat in a sauce pan if you want your tomatoes cooked a little.) Spoon tomatoes over your pesto layer and finish with a pepper! You can also drizzle a little balsamic vinegar over the top as well!
- On the other slices of bread with cream cheese, you’ll want to prepare your cranberry-pomegranate relish. Place your cranberries, orange juice and honey in a blender or food processor. Run the food processor a few times, you don’t want to make a smoothie! You just want everything chopped. Remove from food processor and stir in pomegranate arils. Taste! If you want it sweeter, drizzle in more honey!
- Spoon over cream cheese layer and top with orange zest!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie