If you haven’t noticed, we’re crazy about fresh, local strawberries here at The Café …………..
………. we eat big bowls full of them drizzled with honey for breakfast and snacks and I try to use them in a zillion ways before the illusive, wonderful season slips away. This year, my freezer shelves are happily sagging with four batches of Strawberry Freezer Jam. I’ve also made Strawberry Balsamic Pizza w/ Roasted Chicken, Sweet Onion, Applewood Bacon, a fabulous Arugula and Blueberry Salad with a fresh strawberry vinaigrette.
Strawberry & Goat Cheese Bruschetta
½ recipe Classic Crostini – see below
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
½ medium jalapeño, very finely chopped
4 ounces goat cheese, room temperature
24 medium strawberries
2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh basil
1. Combine balsamic vinegar, strawberry jam and jalapeño in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes or until syrupy. Mixture will thicken a bit more as it cools. Set aside to cool while you prepare bruschetta.
1 long, thin good quality baguette – I don’t have a really good bakery nearby, so I like to either make them myself or use LaBrea baguettes, which are often available at larger grocery chains.
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
few dashes paprika
Preheat oven to 400˚F. Cover large sheet pan with foil. Slice bread into 1/4″ thick slices. Arrange on foil covered baking sheet in a single layer. Mix together oil, butter and rosemary and place in microwave for 30 seconds or until butter is melted. Brush tops of each slice with olive oil mixture. If desired sprinkle lightly with paprika, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.
~ Crostini means “little toasts” in Italian. These tasty little treats are golden, crispy, slices of Italian or French bread. They are great for snacking, dipping, floating on soups or serving along side salads in place of croutons. You can top them with bruschetta, or various spreads and/or cheeses and serve them as hors d’ oeuvres. They are wonderful for last minute parties or unexpected guests as they can be prepared in minutes.