I spent the last three hours monogramming cake pops. Can you believe it? Three hours. I've been selling cake balls and pops for special events here and there and it has been really fun! People just seem to fall in love with the little gems.
So since i've been ummm....sampling some of the ones that didn't turn out quite right, I started feeling a bit overloaded with sugar and started craving something fresh and flavorful. I just wanted a few bites of something savory, and bruschetta was just the ticket!
I surfed all over the blogosphere to evaluate different methods of making bruschetta, and I believe I found the perfect one! Although I understand that traditional old country, the way your italian grandmother used to make it bruschetta is typically drizzled with olive oil and lightly toasted in the oven, somehow that method just wasn't doing it for me. I wanted something a little more indulgent, without going over the top.
And Pioneer Woman came to my rescue as usual. This bruschetta, my friends, is oh so special for a few reasons. One, because it uses multicolored cherry tomatoes, which makes it not only beautiful, but bursting with flavor. Two, because it's topped with fresh basil, and fresh basil always tastes like gourmet pizza. And three, because it's grilled on the stovetop in butter. The grilling brings it all to life.
Bruschetta makes for an awesome appetizer to an italian dinner of pizza, pasta and/or salad. It adds beautiful color to the table. It's also great for a simple snack or party food.
So skip on down to your country store and find yourself some ripe red and orange cherry or grape tomatoes and get cracking!
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
Adapted from Pioneer Woman
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 pint yellow grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 16 whole basil leaves (chiffonade)
- Salt And pepper
- 1 whole baguette
- 6-8 tablespoons butter
Slice tomatoes in half. Chop up your garlic.
Heat olive oil in a small skillet over low-medium heat and throw in your garlic. Toss it around with a spoon for about a minute, careful not to let it burn. Then pour it into a bowl (with oil oil) and let it cool for a few minutes.
Meanwhile, roll up your basil tightly and slice it into strips. Or cut them with a scissors like me.
Next, put your tomatoes in a bowl and add your balsamic, basil, and a little salt and pepper.
Stir it up and taste it. Add more of whatever you think it may need. I always seem to want to add more salt. It's a problem I have! Then, if you can, let it sit for an hour or two in the fridge to help the flavors mingle and maybe even start a few relationships.
When you're ready, grab your baguette and cut with a serrated knife at a diagonal to form pretty slices.
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and add bread slices, in batches if needed. Toast for about 2-4 minutes on each side (check them after a bit to prevent burning) until golden and buttery.
To serve, place baguette slices on a cake plate or serving platter and heap on your tomato mixture. Mmmm so pretty! I'm just loving the natural beauty of vegetables these days.
Speaking of italian food, I ate this amazing tortellini-like concoction at the Virginian, one of the oldest restaurants in Charlottesville, for date night this past Friday. I found Gradon's dish quite uninspired in comparison to mine, but he loved it nonetheless! I guess he makes it a point to enjoy his greasy buffalo chicken burgers when he can, since I don't tend to make such things at home.
Then we headed off to an art gallery to marvel at some pretty awesome altarpieces. We finished off the evening with a stroll around the ever-beautiful UVA campus, brushing up on some Charlottesville history along the way. Turns out, the Rotunda was a make-shift hospital during the civil war. Must have been the prettiest hospital in the world at the time!