Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tomato Basil and Goat Cheese Bruschetta


This is a super simple recipe that can be adapted for either summer or winter. Since I'm still bringing in lots of cherry tomatoes from my garden and my basil plant is kicking, I tossed it together last night to bring to our friends' house as an appetizer.

I love the recipe in summer because it requires very little prep and can be tossed together from what I've got growing outside. Easy! The flavors of fresh tomatoes and basil just can't be beat, especially when they're layered on top of one of my faves--goat cheese.


In winter, when tomatoes aren't at their peak, convert the recipe to its winter counterpart by seasoning and roasting the tomatoes before serving. Lightly toast the sliced baguette. This warm version is perfect for when it's cold outside.

Either way, this is a healthy appetizer that serves up whole grains and lycopene, an important phytochemical that may help prevent cancer. Plus it won't make too big of a dent in your calorie budget before you even get to your entree.

Tomato Basil and Goat Cheese Bruschetta
Serves 4-6.

Ingredients
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered or halved (depending on size)
  • 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade-style (see below for instructions)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Dash of garlic
  • Dash of Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, used liberally, to taste
  • Whole grain baguette, sliced (pictured on Trader Joes' Seeded Wheat Baguette)
  • 2 ounces goat cheese.

Instructions

  1. Combine tomatoes, basil, oil and seasonings in small serving dish.
  2. Serve on sliced baguette spread with goat cheese. Lightly "smoosh" the tomatoes into the cheese so they don't fall off when eating.



What's
chiffonade? Just a fancy word for something so simply elegant. It's a knife technique for cutting herbs, like basil, into thin strips--like little ribbons. To cut basil chiffonade-style, stack the leaves on top of one another, then gently roll them lengthwise. Slice across the roll to create thin strips (about every 1/8-inch). I often use one of my favorite kitchen tools, my herb scissors, to do this even more quickly.

If you have fresh herbs in your garden or buy them regularly, you definitely need a pair of these! They are what I used to cut the basil for this recipe and they're available in The GoodFood Store.







Related recipes:
Roasted Tomato Tapenade