Wednesday, October 5, 2011


After the bacon bonanza of last week, I was feeling something a little bit lighter and fresher for this week. One of my all time favorite appetizers is bruschetta, specifically the kind made by my mother. I will, in fact, not order bruschetta is restaurants because it is inevitably disappointing. It is light and fresh and with this Sunday being heavily rooted in fall weather, it was a nice last taste of summer.

But the title of this post is not called bruchetta, it's crostini. Remember my delicious stuffed dates last week? Well I had a lot of left over blue cheese and pecan mixture and I wanted to use it as well, so I decided to make a second type of crostini with it.

Heather's Mom's Bruchetta
Mmmm... finished product

The absolute best part about this recipe is that every part of it can be made in advance... in fact it should be made at last a couple of hours in advance. If you're having a dinner party, this feature is going to be extremely attractive.


5 Roma Tomatoes--these tomatoes work best year-round because they have a more strong tomato flavor even when out of season. In prime tomato season, you can substitute any good tomato.
4 cloves garlic minced
handful fresh basil chopped (think about how much you think is enough... then add more)
1 Bell Pepper (I like green for the color contrast)
Pinch salt
1/4 cup olive oil plus more for bread
1/2 a French Baguette


Seed and chop your tomatoes into a petit dice. I find that to seed tomatoes, the easiest way is to cut the tomato into quarters lengthwise and then use my thumb to push the seeds out.

Chop the bell pepper into similar size pieces as the tomato and add both to a bowl. Add chopped garlic and basil. Add olive oil. Stir to mix. DO NOT ADD THE SALT Trust me... you want good, delicious bruschetta, you don't want to add the salt at this point. It will draw out all the moisture from your tomatoes and pepper and make your bruschetta soupy and gross.
Leftover tomato mixture is good on pasta too!

Cover your bowl with plastic wrap and leave sitting on the counter or in the fridge until ready to use.

In the meantime, preheat your broiler to medium heat. Place one of the racks in the 2nd highest position.
Slice your baguette into about half inch slices. You can do this on a fancy angle if you want... Discard (eat) the heels of the bread.

Take a pastry brush (you know, for basting and butter and stuff... I don't know the fancy term for it!) and spread olive oil on one side of the slices of bread. Arrange them on a baking sheet oil side up.

Place under the broiler. Watch carefully... They will take about 2 minutes to toast, but the difference between beautiful golden toast and horrible blackened charcoal can be the matter of seconds. I check every 30 seconds, look at the pieces in the back of the oven. Flip over the bread and toast the second side.
slice it (front) oil it (right) toast it (left) mmm bread!
Hours have past and you are ready to assemble and serve your bruschetta. Place your toasted rounds on a plate oil side up. Put a heaping spoonful of bruschetta on each round. Take your salt and sprinkle it over the bruschetta. Serve immediately.

Now some people are going to say "but Heather, I put cheese, balsamic vinegar, no peppers etc. etc. in MY bruschetta and it's super delicious!". Good for you... that's not how I do it and it's not how my mom does it and if you want to start going after my mom we're going to be in a fight.

Blue Cheese Apple Crostini

As I mentioned, I wanted to use up the extra blue cheese and pecan mixture from last week. It wasn't very spreadable, so I mixed it with some cream cheese. To cut the heaviness of the blue cheese, I added some nice granny smith apple slices that really gave it a nice tart compliment.


Blue cheese and pecan mixture from bacon day (see previous post)
4oz softened cream cheese (I used the low fat kind)
1 granny smith apple
1/2 a French baguette cut into 1/2 inch slices
tsp lime juice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix the blue cheese and the cream cheese together. I did so in a food processor, but probably could have done it with a fork.Spread mix over slices of bread. Place on baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes until edges of bread are toasted.

While baking, slice granny smith into thin slices. In a small bowl mix lime juice with about 1/4 cup of water. Immerse slices of apple in the lime bath to keep them from browning.

Place two slices of apple into each crostini.

These are good hot or cold. They can be made about 2 hours in advance, but the apple slices will start to wilt after that.

gravity defying apple slices!
Both of these were delicious, and the bruschetta was different enough from the blue cheese crostini as far as both flavor and texture that it wasn't overwhelming. I would make either of them again.

No comments:

Post a Comment