Tag Archives: bruschetta

Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Apple and Aged Goat Cheese

I recently got married at the Goat Lady Dairy – a cute little dairy farm about an hour Southeast of here, in North Carolina. Yes, photos to come, but first! … Goat cheese.

We had a goat-cheese course before dinner, which included their soft aged goat cheese, smoked goat cheese, herbed goat cheese spread, red pepper goat cheese spread and one with honey that people were raving about. Guests enjoyed the cheese tastings with big ripe strawberries and pita chips, and with a glass of our signature cocktail – the Eldermule (citrus-infused vodka, lemon, apple, elderflower liquer and a rosemary sprig from our garden).

When Grant and I came home from our honeymoon, we found the fridge full of leftover wedding cake … and goat cheese!

This recipe is so easy and tastes great with the soft, brie-like aged goat cheese with a thread of ash running through the middle. A new twist on my favorite brie bruschetta.

Bruschetta with Prosciutto, Apple and Aged Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 9-10 pieces of sliced sourdough or French bread
  • 1 garlic clove
  • EVOO
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 9 thin slices of prosciutto di parma (5 oz)
  • 1 small gala (or other) apple, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz soft cheese, such as the Goat Lady Dairy’s (found at Whole Foods), or brie

Preheat broiler. On baking sheet, drizzle bread with EVOO and sprinkle with coarse salt and black pepper. Broil until toasted lightly. Remove from oven and rub the peeled garlic clove over the toasted side, then flip the bread over on the baking sheet so untoasted side is up.

Top toasts evenly with prosciutto, apple and then cheese. Drizzle toasts with a bit more olive oil and another sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Broil until the cheese begins to melt, 3-5 min.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Durn good, as we say in The South.

Grant has been getting me more into cycling, and on our honeymoon, I bought a fancy pair of biking shorts for the Virginia Creeper Trail. Now I’m bona fide, and invested in doing it more. I whipped these bruschetta up one recent Sunday afternoon when we returned from a long bike ride to Salem Lake. I was tired, sore and covered in dirt, but these tasted oh-so-good with a really cold beer, and a comfy patio chair.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Homemade Ricotta with Herbs

I made my own ricotta! Another item added to my “I never thought I’d make my own…” list. I don’t know if Ina Garten just used a shortcut, or if this is legit. But it is legitimately delicious.

All you do is boil a little milk with cream, a dash of salt, then stir in some white wine vinegar to curdle it all. Then you strain into cheesecloth and voila! Mix with your favorite herbs and swirl into pasta or plop on a piece of toast, just as I have.

Adapted from Ina Garten.

Homemade Ricotta with Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 4 c. whole milk (one medium carton)
  • 2 c. heavy cream (one small carton)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3 T white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons minced scallions, white and green parts (2 scallions)
  • 3 T chopped fresh basil

Set a large sieve over a deep bowl. Dampen 2 layers of cheesecloth with water and line the sieve with the cheesecloth.

Pour the milk and cream into a stainless-steel or enameled pot. Stir in the salt. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat and stir in the vinegar. Allow the mixture to stand for 1 minute until it curdles. It will separate into thick parts (the curds) and milky parts (the whey).

Pour the mixture into the cheesecloth-lined sieve and allow it to drain into the bowl at room temperature for 20 to 25 minutes, occasionally discarding the liquid that collects in the bowl. The longer you let the mixture drain, the thicker the ricotta. Transfer the ricotta to a bowl, discarding the cheesecloth and any remaining whey. Use immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. The ricotta will keep refrigerated for 4 to 5 days.

To continue with the recipe…

Mix the ricotta with your herbs; set aside.

Heat broiler and drizzle sourdough bread slides with EVOO and sprinkle with S&P. Broil on both sides until lightly browned, then rub one side with a garlic clove.

To serve, dollop 1 spoonful of ricotta cream on each piece of toast. Top with a little extra S&P, if needed.

The ricotta is so smooth and creamy – way more so than store-bought. Like a cool little cloud with flecks of herbs.

I served my herbed ricotta bruschetta as an appetizer for a dinner party and people went nuts over it. I’ve been asked to bring it to another holiday gathering this weekend.

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Leek and Blue Cheese Toasts

The tender leek. Scrub it clean, toss it into a hot pan with melted butter and olive oil, season with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg, then sizzle it with a dash of white wine and cover. Twenty or so minutes later, you have a soft, sweet vegetable that just wants you to love it.

I simply love the simple leek. And here we have a new way for me to love it. Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe: bruschetta topped with softened leeks and smoky blue cheese – a wonderful appetizer that doubles as an entree with a simple salad.

I added wine and nutmeg to this dish and can’t wait to try it with goat cheese.

Leek and Blue Cheese Toasts

Ingredients:

  • 3 big leeks, sliced into half moons and rinsed well
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing toasts
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • Pinch of fresh nutmeg
  • 6 medium slices of sourdough bread or baguette
  • 2 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • Few drops of lemon juice (1/4 lemon)

Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium. Once hot, add butter and olive oil and add the leek slices. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, a few grinds of black pepper and nutmeg. Add wine, then reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and cook until tender, about 20-30 min. Preheat broiler.

While leeks cook, brush bread slices with olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Run under broiler until lightly toasted (next time, I’ll toast both sides). Divide leeks among toasts. Sprinkle with cheese, then run under broiler again until the cheese has just started to melt. Add a few drops of lemon juice.

Serve immediately.

My god, this is good. The leeks are buttery and have just the tiniest bit of onion flavor; the perfect base for blue cheese crumbles.

Biting down, you first are hit by the blue cheese, then the leeks mellow everything out and the bread is just crunchy enough to hold everything together. Lovely.

I really will be making these for every appetizer-and-wine party I attend in the future.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo