Monday, April 1, 2013

Strawberry Mint Bruschetta

Let's talk about toasted bread. Specifically bruschetta. A perfectly crusty sliced baguette brushed with olive oil, lightly sprinkled with sea salt and then toasted in the oven leaving a crispy outside and chewy center. Top it off with fresh diced tomatoes, basil and garlic, a schmear of goat cheese drizzled with olive oil or an avocado arugula pesto and you have an easy small bite that is always a hit with dinner guests. 

For yesterday's family Easter celebration, I switched gears and took my bruschetta toppings from savory to sweet. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are a combo I rarely take advantage of but when I do, I am quickly reminded of how decadent it is! Ripe Florida strawberries and fresh mint leaves make for a dazzling duo and a good balsamic was the perfect finishing touch. I served this with Trader Joe's Honey Goat Cheese for some added creamy sweetness. I couldn't pass up fresh mint on Easter Sunday, but I'm confident this bruschetta would be equally as good with fresh basil. Enjoy the leftover strawberries atop Greek yogurt in the morning or vanilla bean ice cream for dessert!

Strawberry Mint Bruschetta

1 lb. fresh strawberries, finely chopped
1 tsp. sugar
Handful of fresh mint, chopped
Drizzle of good balsamic vinegar (about 3 Tbsp.)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 crusty baguette, thinly sliced
Olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt

In a medium bowl, sprinkle strawberries with sugar and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Add mint and balsamic and some freshly ground black pepper. Combine and let sit for at least an hour before serving. For a sweeter mixture, add more sugar.

For the toasted baguette...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut baguette on an angle into thin slices. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Arrange on a baking sheet or silicone baking mat and bake for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.  

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