A lot of nights, we all need something light and fast for hectic schedules in hot weather. These types of meals lend themselves easily to Meatless Monday dishes, since there’s no meat to cook or fuss with.
Such was last night. I made Tomato and Goat Cheese Bruschetta for a quick dinner for the two of us.
It was amazing. I love these kinds of meals because they feel so casual, and it’s really all about the food. I’ve never been to Italy, but I imagine meals are long and drawn out, good wine and good conversation, and the freshest food you can imagine.
I am lucky to have a greenhouse just down the road from me that sells tomatoes at the local grocery store and farmers market for the times before my plants start to come in. These tomatoes from Gritt’s Greenhouse are FAR better than the styrofoam-tasting out-of-season mealy tomatoes you find in the grocery store. I don’t even waste my money on those. It’s important to use good quality tomatoes for this recipe, since they are the star of the dish.
Tomato and Goat Cheese Bruschetta (serves 3-4 as a meal)
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 1/2 large red onion, chopped
- 3 or 4 cloves + 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Tb extra virgin olive oil + more for brushing and goat cheese
- 2 Tb fresh rosemary, chopped fine
- 1 Tb fresh basil, chopped fine
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 2 Tb good balsamic vinegar
- 4 oz. goat cheese
- 1 medium loaf Italian Bread (I used a rosemary loaf)
In a large skillet, heat 2 Tb olive oil and add onion and garlic. Cook a few minutes until onion begins to soften and turn translucent. Add tomato and cook a few more minutes, stirring occasionally until it begins to soften. Add wine, balsamic vinegar, herbs and salt and pepper, and stir well. Cook about another 15 minutes until juices have mostly evaporated and tomatoes are softened completely. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mix the goat cheese and the last clove of garlic (go easy since this is raw garlic–a little goes a long way. You can omit this altogether if you prefer) and 1 Tb olive oil. I microwaved the goat cheese for about 10 seconds to make it easier to mix. Slice the loaf into 3/4 inch or so thick slices (I got 16 slices plus the small ends). Brush both sides of the bread lightly with olive oil and arrange on the grill (or use a grill pan or place under a broiler). Grill each side 4 minutes or so until golden brown and crusty. Remove from the grill, spread each piece with the goat cheese mixture and top with the cooked tomato mixture. Pour (another) glass of wine and enjoy!
This is one of those dinners I just pulled together with stuff I had on hand. I’ll definitely keep it in the summer rotation, especially as I start getting tomatoes from my own back yard. You could even experiment with different cheeses, like using a thin piece of mozzarella in place of the goat cheese mixture. Either way, it’s a fabulous quick and light dinner, or would make a great appetizer.