The is one of my favorite appetizer recipes. A complete “all-in-one” in terms of ingredients, presentation, ease of preparation and most importantly, flavor. And because you can really prepare everything in advance and just put in together last minute, you can actually be apart of the party and not in the kitchen the whole time!
I hosted a food tasting event a couple of years ago called Taste of Autumn in Gatlinburg, TN. The city’s restaurants bring out some of their dishes to raise money for the United Way and a chef from one of the local eateries served this. I had never made bruschetta at home and honestly, didn’t order it very often on the menu at an Italian restaurant. And I certainly couldn’t remember tasting feta in any varieties I’ve tried. I just didn’t know what I was missing until tasting this version. I worked up the amounts according to my taste, but that’s another great thing about bruschetta–room to adjust. If you like more feta, then by all means or if you want more more or less basil, feel free. You can also add fresh garlic, instead of the powder on the bread. I prefer the hint of garlic-letting the tomatoes, basil and olive oil take center stage. Make sure to use a quality balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Tomatoes are coming in now and fresh basil is ready, so what are you waiting on! Give this a try when you’re putting together a nice Italian meal with a good bottle of red wine or serve it with a salad for a light dinner.
- ½ baguette
- Butter to spread
- Garlic powder
- 3 tomatoes, chopped
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive Oil
- 5-6 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Italian seasoning
- Feta cheese
- Balsamic glaze
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut baguette into rounds and place on cookie sheet.
- Spread butter on each round, sprinkle each with garlic powder and a little salt and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow them to cool completely.
- Mix tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Add basil (reserving some for garnish) and Italian seasonings to taste.
- Place a spoonful of tomato mixture on each baguette round and sprinkle each round with feta cheese.
- Position rounds on serving tray or platter, drizzle with balsamic glaze and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve immediately.
- Balsamic glaze: Pour balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and heat up to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes or until vinegar becomes nice & syrupy. Reduce heat completely and allow vinegar to cool. Vinegar should be thick.
- You can bake the baguette rounds early in the day and keep them in a container. Prepare the tomato mixture ahead of time and keep it in the fridge, then put it all together at the last minute. Just don’t make these too far ahead of serving them, so the bread doesn’t get soggy. The glaze will keep in your fridge for a bit and tastes great with vegetables, grilled chicken breasts, fish, etc.