Wednesday, March 25, 2015: Southwest Walnut Cilantro Crostini by Chef Barbara Fenzl

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Southwest Walnut Cilantro Crostini

Walnuts contain an omega-3 fat that's been shown to improve memory and coordination. Garlic reduces blood pressure, boosts the immune system, improves cholesterol levels, and may prevent Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia. Arugula is very nutritious and may lower blood pressure and risk of lung and colon cancer. Cilantro reduces LDL, the bad cholesterol, and is also low calorie and very nutritious.

Makes 18-20

Ingredients

Pesto:

½ cup walnut pieces

4 cloves garlic, peeled

3 cups baby arugula

1 cup cilantro

¼ cup olive oil

½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled fine

¼ teaspoon red chili flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

1 baguette

2 tablespoons olive oil

Procedure

Pesto: Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil; add walnuts and cook for 1 minute. Drain and rinse walnuts and spread them on a baking sheet. Cook until crisp and golden, about 10 minutes.

With a food processor running, add the whole garlic cloves through the feed tube. Add the cooled nuts, arugula, cilantro, and olive oil. Fold in the cheese and chile flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The pesto will keep, covered and refrigerated, for a week.

Slice baguette into ½-inch slices. Brush with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Bake until golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Spread each piece of toasted baguette with a dollop of pesto and serve.