Balsamic Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta: Topped with Fresh Sweet Basil
So lately I have been on a summer food kick (well, I'm always on a summer food kick during the summer!) with one of those foods being strawberries. I absolutely LOVE strawberries in all forms--eaten fresh (with a possible dip in sugar) or in a dessert, like strawberry shortcake.
Along with loving summer foods comes using my herbs! I have so many herbs, and since I really only ever cook for myself or for myself and Terry, I never use all of them up. So whenever I cook, I always try to incorporate one of my herbs into every dish that I make.
Recently, my basil just really started to grow, and strawberries came into season. So I started to brainstorm--I know strawberries taste great with balsamic, so what if I concoct something with the basil and some of my other favorite ingredients?! So along came the strawberry bruschetta with goat cheese.
After I ate this, I said this was probably one of the best things I have ever eaten. The flavors of all ingredients combined really play well together. This recipe will be on my summer rotation for a long time.
Now, mind you, this isn't a recipe where you will have exact measurements or amounts of the food to make this. I will give you estimates of what I used, but since this is an appetizer that you will put together, feel free to use more or less of each ingredient to your taste.
Please note that I only made half of the baguette and used a little less than one pound of strawberries. If you are going to use the whole baguette, I would recommend getting two pounds, just to be on the safe side. If you have extra strawberries, just use them to top ice cream or waffles the next day.
1-2 pounds of strawberries, chopped into small pieces
One French baguette (I used half)
A log of plain goat cheese (I used about half)
A bunch of fresh basil, chopped or sliced into strips (more or less dependent upon how much you're making or your personal preferences)
A bottle of balsamic vinegar
1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
2) Slice the Baguette into small slices. Brush olive oil on each side; season with salt and pepper on each side. Toast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes each side.
3) I find it helps to chop the strawberries beforehand, but it you did not, this would be the time to do it.
4) Chop the basil into small pieces or slice the basil leaves into small strips. You will be garnishing the crostini with the basil, so chop or slice to your preferences.
5) Once the crostini are crisped in the oven, take out. Spread goat cheese on top of each piece. Spread chopped strawberries on each piece. Garnish the crostini with chopped basil. Drizzle your favorite balsamic over top.
Voila! All finished! Pair with your favorite red wine and enjoy the delicious flavors. This will be a hit with any guests you have over or is great for any wine tasting party!
Try it out and let me know what you think!
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