Potluck

Last night was my book club planning meeting which was a potluck dinner and tomorrow at work we are having a potluck football tailgate party at lunch.  I always want to bring something interesting to a potluck (after all now that I’ve been blogging for a year about food, I feel that I have a reputation to uphold!) but it’s been a hectic week.  Tonight was my daughter’s 5th birthday and both of these events are falling during the work week.  I was looking for simple and do ahead.  Any time I’m bringing something to a potluck, I’m looking for something that is low maintenance when I get there.  I hate to walk into someone’s home (or my office) with something that needs to be cooked at a specific temperature or needs special serving utensils.  For my book club meeting I made 2 types of bruschetta and they seemed to go over well.  For work I made a Mediterranean layered dip to serve with pita wedges.  Here are the recipes:

Bruschetta Toasts

  • 1 loaf of French bread
Slice bread into 1/4 inch slices on diagonal to make longer slices.  Broil about 1 minute per side about 4 inches from broiler.  Let cool and keep crisp in a plastic bag.  (Make sure toasts are cool before bagging or the steam from their heat will make them soggy.)
Tomato topping
  • 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 3 oz ricotta salata or feta cheese, diced
  • 2 TB chives, minced
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Heat oil over low to medium heat in a small saucepan.  Cook shallots, stirring until soft.  Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.  Toss tomato mixture with cheese, chives and balsamic vinegar.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  To serve, top toasts with 1 – 2 tsps of mixture (depending upon size of toasts.)
Spinach topping
  • 2 bags baby spinach
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
Saute garlic in medium saucepan over medium heat for about 1 minute.  Add spinach in two batches and stir until wilted (about 5 minutes.)  Drain liquid and transfer to a bowl.  Stir in mozzarella cheese.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Spoon onto toasts.
Mediterranean layer dip
  • 1 container hummus (you can use plain or flavored – I doubled recipe so used one plain and one flavored)
  • 1 finely chopped tomato
  • 1 chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 red onion chopped
  • 4 oz feta cheese
  • 2 TB chopped black olives
  • pita bread
In a shallow serving dish layer hummus, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, feta and black olives.  Refrigerate until ready to serve with pita wedges.