Gossip of the week: Spring has finally sprung.
And seeing as it’s the middle of April, it has certainly taken its time coming around this year. Another thing I’ve recently been told: the groundhog seeing his shadow apparently has nothing to do with the weather. Realizing–at age 27–that a large rodent resembling a squirrel is not, in fact, a scientist nor does he control the universe really makes you wonder about yourself.
Then I made this bruschetta and life made sense again.
I’ve always loved toying with bruschettas and one of my favorite combinations has always included strawberries and basil. This year as baby heirloom tomatoes kept finding themselves in my fridge (sometimes I black out at Whole Foods) I decided to combine the classic with the extraordinary.
Classic being tomatoes and extraordinary being strawberries of course.
I also just had a new article published in Focus on the Coast Magazine (page 58) for their April issue where the featured ingredient was strawberries. I shared local chef’s recipes for their favorite strawberry creations and made fabulous puns using the word “shellfish.”
It only seemed fair to hand out a strawberry recipe of my own…
*Note to people who will actually read this Focus article: “Turning Fruit Haters into Berry-lievers” is a line I took from my Focus article for this blog. Yes, I stole from myself. But how could I be mad at me? I’m wonderful.*
Strawberry and Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta with Fresh Basil, Balsamic, Goat Cheese, and Cracked Black Pepper
Toasted Crostini / Fresh Strawberries / Fresh Basil / Balsamic Vinegar / Olive Oil / Salt / Cracked Black Pepper / Goat Cheese / Reduced Balsamic
1. Cut a french baguette into crostini-size slices, drizzle with olive oil, and bake at 350 until crispy (5-8 minutes). *If you have more time: Mix brown butter with honey and drizzle that over crostini before baking. No idea what brown butter is? Click here.*
2. Toss fresh torn basil with sliced strawberries and tomatoes (preferably heirloom or baby heirloom but any kind will do) and a splash of balsamic, a drizzle of good olive oil, and a small pinch of salt.
3. Top toasted crostini with a spoonful of the strawberry mixture, crumbled goat cheese, fresh cracked black pepper, and reduced balsamic. *Store bought balsamic reduction works great, but to make it from scratch–reduce equal parts balsamic vinegar and honey until you have a syrup-like consistency.*
4. Stand back and observe as everyone gathers around your dish and says,
“What the hell is that?”
5. Watch their faces as they try it, and then pat yourself on the back.