Nutella® (Recipe: Nutella banana bruschetta)
Never say never.
Even though the diet begins tomorrow -- all diets begin tomorrow, or the day after -- I can't promise that there will never again be rich, gooey, chocolatey Nutella® in my pantry.
It's too delicious, too versatile, and too easy to turn into instantly impressive desserts.
There are two formulations of the chocolate-hazelnut-skim-milk spread sold under the Nutella name. The original, made in Italy since the 1940s, is not the same product made in Canada and imported to America for the past twenty years. Canadian Nutella contains more chocolate and more sugar, and less hazelnut, than the Italian original.
In my local supermarket, Nutella sits on the shelf with peanut butter and jellies, which makes sense; it tastes enough like chocolate peanut butter that I'm sure Elvis would have loved to spread it on his signature sandwich (which inspired the recipe below).
Stored at room temperature, even after opening, Nutella keeps for months.
Or for hours, which is just about how long it lasts in my house.
Nutella banana bruschetta
An easy-to-make dessert that's over-the-top all on its own, or garnishing a bowl of vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt. You could also use sliced strawberries, pears, peaches or mangoes, depending on what looks best at the market. Figure on one or two bruschetta per person.
1 small loaf whole-wheat French bread
1/2 jar Nutella
1 banana, peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
Preheat the broiler or, if your oven doesn't have a broiler, heat oven to 450°F.
Heat a dry nonstick frying pan or griddle over medium heat.
Cut the bread 1/4 inch thick on an angle to make long, thin slices. Toast the bread in the frying pan for 2 minutes on each side, until lightly toasted. Remove from the pan and set on a tray or counter top.
Smear each slice of bread on one side with a bit of Nutella. Top each with 3-4 slices of banana. Sprinkle on a tiny bit of brown sugar. Place the bread slices on a sheet pan, and put the pan under the broiler for a minute or longer, depending on the strength of your broiler (mine is infrared, so it takes less than a minute), until the sugar is just melted.
Remove sheet pan from the oven and sprinkle each bruschetta with sea salt. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.