Kapow! Wow! Amazing! That’s what your mouth will say when you bite into this scrumptious appetizer. It’s fresh and bright, and you will be asked for the recipe every time. This recipe is inspired by The Pioneer Woman’s Bruschetta. She is amazing and I love reading her posts, pouring through her cookbooks like a new novel and trying her recipes. As is typical of my style, I modify, add and tweak based on what I have in my pantry, so here is my take on her recipe. Check hers out too, you will never go wrong! Check my tweaks out, either way I think you’ll be glad you tried it!
First, for your crostini, buy yourself a couple of fresh baguettes and slice them about ¼ inch thick, 1 – 1½ baguettes is usually the right amount, it never seems like there is enough bread. Or you can cheat and use the slicer in the bakery section of your grocery store; it slices the baguette super neat, nice and even.
Drizzle olive oil on top of the bread, using a brush, spread the oil over the tops. Sprinkle with a little course salt and place in oven on broil on the middle rack, watch closely so you don’t burn them, like I do because I’m trying to do too many things at once. Good thing my hubby likes them a little crisper. Toast until lightly brown crispy, not like the first dark batch on the left, but more like the lighter on the right…
Now for the bruschetta, these ingredients scream beauty!
Cut tomatoes into quarters and place into bowl. Aren’t they beautiful, so full of color, even in the middle of winter.
In a small pan, heat olive oil on medium, then place minced garlic into the hot oil, carefully and stir, watching closely so it doesn’t burn. How I love my cast iron pans! This is my mini one.
Just as a few pieces start turning brown, just a minute or so, remove from heat.
Let cool slightly and then pour (still warm, not hot) over tomatoes
Slosh in the balsamic vinegar.
Chiffonade the basil (fancy word for roll up and thinly slice), first you stack them up (3-4 together)…
If needed you may add a little more sea salt, but taste it before adding too much.
Mix together and allow to sit on the counter (or fridge if not serving for awhile) allowing the flavors to marry.
Serve with crispy crostini slices and a small log of goat cheese (let sit at room temp while you make your bruschetta). Now, for my favorite part, schmear some of that creamy goat cheese onto the crostini…
Then spoon some of the bruschetta mixture on top of the cheese schmeared crostini, allowing the juices to seep in. You can also purchase the slightly firmer goat cheese crumbles and put them directly into the bruschetta mixture. Excuse me while I go eat some! Manga!
- 1-2 french baguettes
- olive oil
- ½ - 1 pint Red Grape or Cherry tomatoes, quartered
- ½ - 1 pint Yellow Cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced well
- 2 TBL olive oil
- 1 TBL Balsamic Vinegar
- 8-16 Basil Leaves (chiffonade)
- Salt & Pepper to taste (careful not to over salt)
- Creamy Goat Cheese Log, softened at room temp or Goat Cheese Crumbles tossed in (Optional)
- In a small skillet, heat oil over medium heat, stir, watching closely for about a minute, remove from heat just as first few pieces start turning golden brown. Cool slightly in pan.
- Cut tomatoes into quarters.
- Add tomatoes to serving bowl, pour warm oil and garlic mixture over the top.
- Chiffonade your basil, stacking a few leaves at a time, rolling and slicing gently to form crisp ribbons of basil. Stir gently into tomato mixture.
- Add balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Gently toss to mix flavors. Taste add more salt if needed.
- Cover and refrigerate for an hour or so if you have time.
- For the Crostini:
- Heat oven on broil.
- Slice the baguette (or use slicer in your bakery section at the grocery store) into even slices.
- Brush olive oil onto top slice of bread. Sprinkle with a few grains of course sea salt.
- Toast under broiler using the middle rack for a couple of minutes, watching closely, just takes a couple minutes Remove when golden brown.
- To serve, stir the mixture one last time.
- If desired, spread a little goat cheese onto a toasted crostini, then spoon some of the bruschetta on top, allowing the juices to seep in.
- Or you may also stir in firmer goat cheese crumbles into the tomato mixture just prior to serving.