Bruschetta is one of my favorite appetizers. I usually enjoy it topped with fresh tomatoes, but resort to trying other toppings when tomatoes aren’t at their peak. Topping toasted bread slices with spinach sauteed with garlic and bubbly Fontina cheese is perfect for the winter months. I made these as an afternoon snack, but ended up eating the rest of them for dinner that night.
I used a loaf of Ciabatta, but you can slice any rustic Italian style bread that is elongated and not too tall.
Bruschetta with Fontina and Greens
Adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
1 loaf Ciabatta bread (1 pound)
Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
1 garlic clove, halved
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
salt to taste
4 ounces shredded Fontina cheese
Place rack in center of oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease.
Cut the ciabatta bread on the diagonal into 1/2 inch slices. Place in a single layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in preheated oven until toasted and lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. Once able to be handled but still warm, rub the tops with the cut sides of the garlic halves.
In a large skillet, drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add as much spinach as will fit and cook, stirring often, until it begins to wilt. Mix in the remaining spinach and cook just until wilted. Season with salt and remove from heat.
Arrange the wilted spinach on prepared bread slices. Top with shredded cheese. Bake at 400 degrees F until the cheese is bubbly, 5-8 minutes. Season with additional salt if desired and serve warm.