Summer time food usually makes me think of long warm evenings + back patio BBQ’s. While I love anything grilled (and you can indeed grill almost anything) I always find myself more of a grazer at various outdoor eating events. All of the appetizers, the fresh fruit + grilled veggies dipped into fresh salsas + ripe guacamoles just bursting with citrus notes speak to me. They call to me. I always end up eating a little bit of everything here + there so much so that I sometimes forget to even sit down for the main meal!
So obviously today I am sharing a recipe that combines all of my summer meal favorites: appetizers, ripe summer berries + fresh home grown herbs. Oh + cheese (we’ll have to come back and revisit my love of cheese at a later time). I had been planning to make a little strawberry bruschetta appetizer to go with our grilled chicken + roasted broccoli dinner one night, thinking it would be just a taste + also thinking it wouldn’t go over as well as a typical tomato bruschetta with my family. Well boy was I wrong. Within minutes of lining up all my toasts in a pretty little row my husband devoured over half of them + began asking for more. They were so good. I toasted the fresh french bread with a little evoo + a sprinkle of salt until it was crispy + golden brown + it was the perfect vehicle to hold all the juicy goodness on top. There’s something about combining sweet with a little salty + savory that just makes my taste buds sing a happy song. The feta + balsamic bring out the extra sweetness in the ripe strawberries + a little basil just adds a big punch of flavor to every bite. The toasted bread actually softens a bit (as with most bruschettas) while soaking up all the oozing juices + ends up the perfect amount of crunchy + soft. Try it out and let me know what you think. I think ‘bruschettas’ may be my new summer food staple. This is so great to bring to a BBQ or even add to the menu for your next brunchdate. Full recipe below.
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 7 mins
-1 small french loaf (or other crusty bread of choice)
-1.5 cups chopped strawberries
-2 Tbsp. feta cheese
-1 Tbsp. fresh chopped basil
-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (divided)
-1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
-drizzle balsamic reduction (or balsamic glaze)
-salt + pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 + line a baking sheet with parchment paper sprayed with non-stick spray. Cut fresh baguette into thinish pieces (remember they will get crispy in the oven so you don’t want them too thick to bit into when topped with strawberries). Combine half of the olive oil + a sprinkle of sea salt in a small dish. Line up your bread slices + using a pastry brush (or small spoon) drizzle a bit of the oil mixture onto each bread slice. Toast in the oven for 6-8 minutes until each slice is a nice golden brown. While the bread is toasting + then cooling prepare your strawberries + feta. Chop up roughly 1.5 cups of fresh strawberries + combine with the feta, chopped basil + remaining olive oil + balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat + add salt + pepper to taste. Let this sit for a few minutes to really get the juices marinating. Once your toast is cooled top each one with the strawberry mixture and add a drizzle of balsamic reduction/glaze on top.
Mmmm, happy weekend! xo,Jules