Quote of the day, "This is the best bruschetta you have ever made." By the husband. I don't disagree. Make these delicious little bites of the Mediterranean the next time you are having friends around of just chilling yourself. The combination of roasted cherry tomatoes, Spanish cured cheese and balsamic vinegar is classically beautiful. Yes, beautiful!
If there is ever a time to enjoy appetizers, I believe it is summer through and through. I don't mind a nibble or two in the winter. But usually I am chowing down on something hot and hearty. Summer is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, a chilled drink and a delicious bite or ten!
The other day when I was searching the kitchen for some kind of an appetizer to put on a plate, this is just what came together. Sure I have used roasted cherry tomatoes in bruschetta before but not with the Spanish cured goat's cheese. It was honestly what made this bruschetta.
If you have never ever tried the Spanish cured cheese, what are you waiting for? I used to be a cheddar girl myself. It was all we ever had growing up. Well that and Cheeze Whiz. Okay, I know that's not cheese, but try to explain that to my 10 year old self. Boy, did we ever eat a lot of that stuff as kids. It was the go to sandwich of choice and the best thing ever on toast! Things have changed somewhat over the years. How my cheese pallet has widened.
This type of Spanish cheese is widely available around here, well because Spain is where I live. So obviously. My first encounter with this cheese was a mere 20 years ago when I arrived fresh off the boat, as they say. Or a plane in my case. I was out and about trying to get my head around my new town. I remember walking into a smoked filled cafe bar of sorts. There were a few men idly sitting around watching football (or soccer) and chewing the cud. All I could smell was stale beer, cigarette smoke, and cured meats. Buy hey, I was starving and I didn't know what was around the next corner. With my very limited Spanish, 4 words, I ordered a ham and cheese sandwich. It was the one thing that I could make out and thought I would at least like. I mean what in the world was Rabo de Toro!!! I was seriously in over my head.
The sandwich wasn't quite what I was expecting. A largish very crusty bread roll filled with thin slices of some kind of red fatty ham and very strong thick cut triangles of cheese. I was starving and I reluctantly ate it.
So, what was that sandwich. A very simple and delicious combination of cured Spanish ham and cured Spanish cheese. At the time, I could have easily passed and wished for McDonalds. Now my absolute favourite when I am out and about. Move over ham and cheese because you got some serious competition.
Okay, now you got a somewhat better understanding of the cheese. If not, click the link here to find out more. I found it in a local supermarket in Newfoundland last summer, so I imagine you can find it in most places.
What about this bruschetta. Pretty simple and straightforward if you look at the recipe below. I used a cast iron grill pan for the bread, you know the kind with the groves. It isn't necessary, but I love that pan. You can use any kind of skillet really. However, that one that I have is great and I believe makes the food taste better. In my little own opinion.
I recommend putting the bread on the stove about 5 minutes before the tomatoes come out of the oven. This way, everything will be ready at the same time. It is best not to make them in advance and serve them later. The bread will lose it's crunch and possibly go a big soggy. As well, the tomatoes will go cold. As written below, they are best served immediately.
If you can't find this type of cheese, or just don't like it, substitute another strong hard cheese in it's place. I used a large piece and cut it into thin slices using the slicer part of a cheese grater. This gave me almost large shavings of cheese which was perfect on this bruschetta.
Easy to make and easy to eat. Give these a try next time you feel like a nibble.
Makes 12 / Prep time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 20 minutes
1 Baguette, cut into 12 slices
2 Cups/300 Grams cherry tomatoes
12 small slices/30 grams cured goats cheese
1 Garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Small bunch of fresh basil, roughly torn
Small handful baby leaf lettuce
Balsamic reduction, for drizzle
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Put the cherry tomatoes in a small roasting tin and drizzle over olive oil. Roast for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven.
Heat a grill pan over medium to high heat. Rub the garlic on the bread and place the bread slices in the pan. Cook each side for about 2 minutes until it is slightly charred. Remove from grill pan. While the bread is still hot, lay over slices of cheese, baby leaf lettuce and cherry tomatoes. Top with basil, sea salt and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. Serve immediately.
Click the downloadable link below to print recipe!
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