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Sun-Dried Tomato and Herbed Cheese Toasts

Contributed by Kelly

 

1         jar  sun-dried tomatoes, oil-packed
1/4      cup  shallots -- finely chopped
2         teaspoons  garlic -- finely minced
1/2      teaspoon  salt
1/4      teaspoon  red pepper flakes
1         teaspoon  dried basil
1/4      cup  flat leaf parsley -- chopped
8        ounces  lowfat cream cheese -- room temp.
1/4     cup  parmesan cheese -- grated
24      3/8" thick french bread slices -- cut from  baguette
2        tablespoons  fresh basil for garnish


 Drain 2 tsp oil from tomatoes and place in medium heavy skillet.  Chop enough tomatoes to make 1/2 cup
 Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add shallots and saute. Stir about 3 minutes until soft.
 Add garlic and saute, stirring @ 1 minute more.  Add reserved 1/2 cup tomatoes, salt, red pepper, and dried basil. Cook and stir about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in chopped parsley.  Blend Parmesan and cream cheese. Measure additional 2 tsp oil from tomatoes and add to cheese mixture along with shallot mixture. Cover and refrigerate. Can be made 2 days ahead. Bring to room temp. 30 minutes before using.  To prepare toasts: Place bread slices on baking sheet. Bake in center of oven at 300 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, turning once until golden and crisp. Store in airtight container for 1 day if needed. Can reheat to crisp at 300 for 5 minutes. Spread toast generously with mixture. Preheat broiler and broil toasts 5-6 inches from heat just until hot--about 1 minute. Watch while it is heating so they do not burn. Garnish with fresh basil if desired. Serve warm.

These toasts and a bottle of wine are all you need!!! YUM!