Monday, May 11, 2009

Sweet Strawberry Bruschetta

This weekend, I enjoyed a lovely lunch while visiting a winery. Even though I had ordered bruschetta from room service at the hotel the night before, Joe decided he wanted to try the cafe's "sweet bruschetta" as an appetizer. So glad we did! And since it was so delicious (and so simple!) I did my best to recreate it at home last night.

I started by toasting thin slices of a French baguette. I only left them in long enough to be just crunchy on the outside but still soft inside.

Next, I applied a generous amount of spreadable goat cheese. I topped this with a few bacon bits and some thinly sliced strawberries.

To finish it off, I drizzled with a bit of honey and some balsamic vinegar.

The result was very good. Next time, I'll reduce the balsamic to make more of a glaze - the taste was close but the consistency should've been more syrupy. The only other difference I really noticed between my version and the one served at the winery was the quality of ingredients. Joe bought the only kind of spreadable goat cheese available at the grocery store (I'm sure we can find better if we make an effort) and our waiter actually stated that they made theirs fresh from goats on the farm. And in order to avoid cooking a lot of bacon, I used the real bacon bits sold with the salad toppers. I'm sure their balsamic was higher quality as well.

But it was still a very tasty reproduction. With a little tweaking, we will make it again!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Fix-It-Fridays: Tasty Salad

This week's edition of "Fix-It-Friday" tackles a dinner staple - salad.

What's your favorite salad? What do you like to add on top? What are you favorite dressings?

I like to use spinach for my salad greens. My favorite 'recipe' for salad involves spinach, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, and a homemade dressing based on red wine vinegar. There's also some sort of cheese but I can't remember what kind.

For my "standard" salad during the week, I usually add Craisins, red onion, feta, and a bit of balsamic vinegar/olive oil.

Yes, you'll notice a bit of a trend there. I try to keep my dressing simple - a little oil and vinegar. I have a recipe for balsamic dressing that involves the addition of mustard and garlic. For store-bought dressings, I try to stick to the "lighter" dressings but I try to avoid them.

So, weigh in with your thoughts on greens!