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Bruschetta–another favorite at my home. I often make this Italian-inspired appetizer several times during the summer by topping garlic-rubbed toasted bread with a mixture of homegrown grape tomatoes and fresh basil tossed in olive oil and seasoned with sea salt. I usually jazz it up with crumbled goat cheese and drizzled balsamic vinegar and enjoy it with my family out on our cobblestone patio. Ah, bliss!

With summer around the corner and a container of grape tomatoes and a bunch of fresh basil beckoning me, I decided take my favorite summertime appetizer and convert it into a salad.

Now I had planned on drizzling a balsamic syrup on the salad. I’d never made this syrup before, but I tried it on bruschetta at one of my favorite restaurants a couple of years ago and loved it. So I thought it might complement the salad.

Okay, it’s confession time. The batch of balsamic syrup I made was terrible. I may have reduced it too much. Yep, sometimes my experiments don’t turn out all that well. But that’s okay. You have try new things to find out what you like and what works, right? No worries, though. I whipped up a batch of my favorite homemade balsamic dressing (see below for a link to this recipe) and used it instead.

This simple, fragrant salad complemented the salmon fillets I served at dinner. I hope you enjoy it! :0)

Ingredients for Bruschetta Salad

Bruschetta Salad

2 cups grape tomatoes, quartered

1/3 cup packed fresh basil leaves

1 TBSP olive oil, plus more for brushing on bread

Sea salt

2 cups baguette slices, thinly sliced (about 18 to 20 small slices)

2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

5 ounces mixed lettuce greens

¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced

2½ ounces of crumbled goat cheese

Homemade or store-bought balsamic vinaigrette (see below for a homemade recipe)

Directions:

(1) Preheat broiler to high.

(2) Place quartered grape tomatoes in a small bowl.  Roll several basil leaves together at a time and cut into thin strips (looks like confetti). Add basil to bowl with tomatoes and gently mix. Coat mixture with olive oil and season with sea salt. Set aside.

(2) Arrange baguette slices on a cookie sheet and lightly brush oil on the slices. Toast in broiler for about 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately after removing bread from broiler, rub each slice with garlic cloves.

(3) Arrange mixed lettuce in a shallow bowl. Top salad with toasted baguette slices, tomato-basil mixture, sliced red onions, and crumbled goat cheese, in that order.

Ingredients for Honey Balsamic Vinagrette

(4) Drizzle salad with your favorite store-bought or homemade balsamic dressing. For the directions on how to make my favorite homemade balsamic ~ Honey Balsamic Dressing ~ click here. Serve immediately. 

Makes 4 generous servings.

Shared on Justa’s Kitchen on May 6th. :0)

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