I wanted to create a fun new appetizer for the holiday party season that still fits the migraine diet. These crispy teff “bruschetta” bites are topped with a dollop tomato-and-oregano cream cheese and a mini-dollop of fresh pesto. They have the flavors of pizza and bruschetta, while being gluten-free and pretty healthy. Teff is a gluten-free grain from North Africa that cooks up like porridge, or can be ground into flour.
The base of these could have been made with polenta, but I have been eating a lot less corn. A while back I cooked up some whole grain teff, and it occurred to me that it might work as a polenta substitute. So I cooked it a little drier than usual, and spread it out in a pan to firm up. It worked! Then I dry-fried it in a non-stick pan to give it a crispy outside, while still being a little chewy inside. It makes the perfect little base for an appetizer with a neutral flavor, tasting a little bit like pumpernickel rye bread too. You could do cream cheese, dill, and smoked salmon on this base as well.
I blended room-temperature cream cheese (use mascarpone for a super-low-sodium version) with finely chopped cherry tomatoes, a little fresh oregano, and black pepper for the schmear. You could use vegan cream cheese (Tofutti or Daiya) for a vegan version, which is not migraine-friendly.
The pesto is made from toasted sunflower seeds (since nuts are not part of the migraine diet), fresh basil, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. You can make all the components a day ahead. Just make sure you cover the pesto with a thin layer of olive oil in the container so it doesn’t turn brown.
low-sodium, migraine, gluten-free, reduced-sugar, vegan (with sub), and vegetarian diets