Mix & Match Bruschetta – Snack or Light Meal!

Bruschetta fixings

This Bruschetta platter combines a savory mix & match selection of toppings, triple creamy cheese and prosciutto crisps, paired with toasted rustic bread. It makes a great snack, appetizer or light summer meal. Read on, then comment on your favorite flavor combo.

We recently enjoyed a lovely evening at our friend, Sally’s house. My contribution to the meal was this Bruschetta platter, which we enjoyed on the deck overlooking her amazing gardens. Sally then treated us a to a quintessential summer meal of grilled Shish Kabobs, salad, garlic bread and fresh fruit. Kudos to Sally on a light and delicious meal!

Why Bruschetta & Why My Hubby Thinks I’m Nuts

My husband thinks I’m nuts when I can look at over 100 appetizer recipes and still not find a recipe that suits my requirements. My challenge, is that I find myself trying to balance out a number of various factors when I select a recipe. The ease of serving something I’m bringing to someone’s house. The flavors I think my dinning companions would like. What am I in the mood to eat? What’s in season? What has a little bit of wow factor to it? What haven’t I blogged yet? Etc.. Etc.. Etc.. Can you get a sense of what I’m dealing with here?! Seriously, I love to research recipes. It’s a passion and a hobby of mind.

I finally asked myself, what the heck are you looking for Cathy? My answer was, some sort of a mix & match bruschetta platter. This would allow me to minimize the putsy side of constructing individual appetizers at the last minute and give me the freedom to create a number of interesting options.

Creating My Own Combination

From that point, I dug into some favorite recipes and selected an Edamame Spread, an Olive Salad and a Tomato Cucumber Relish for topping some toasted rustic bread. I wanted some additional flavor enhancers to pile on top, so I added Parmesan shards (shavings), thinly sliced radish and easy-to-make prosciutto crisps. One last decadent addition, was a wedge of rich, triple cream cheese. If you are unfamiliar with double and triple cream cheeses, check out this link to learn more. Lunds & Byerlys is my “go-to” grocer for these delicious cheeses.

Here’s a sampling of how these wonderful flavors might be combined:

  • Triple cream cheese + Olive Salad
  • Tomato Cucumber Relish + Parmesan shards
  • Edamame Spread + radish slices
  • Prosciutto crisps can be crumbled over any combo or enjoyed on their own

The best part is making up your own combinations. Comment on Facebook, or this post on ItsThyme2Cook, on your favorite combo!

Bruschetta – Mix & Match Snack or Light Meal

Serving Size: Serves 6

Ingredients

    Olive Salad
  • 4 ounces (about 3/4 cup) pitted mixed whole olives
  • 1 stalk celery, strings removed (just peel off the outer edge), cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion (if it smells strong, rinse with hot water in small strainer and let drain)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh olive juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
    Tomato Cucumber Relish
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (red, yellow or a combination) cut in 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup seedless cucumber cut into 1/4 inch dice (you can peel or leave unpeeled based on your preference. If you can't find a seedless cuke, just quarter a regular cuke lengthwise. Then run a sharp knife down the length of each quarter just below the seeded area, preserving just the cucumber flesh.)
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion (if it smells strong, rinse with hot water in small strainer and let drain)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon minced garlic, based on your love of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • kosher salt & pepper to taste
    Edamame Spread
  • 3/4 cup frozen shelled edamame (soybeans)
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Note - food processor required
    Prosciutto Crisps
  • 3.5 - 4 ounce package of thinly sliced prosciutto
  • parchment paper
    The Rest of the Platter
  • wedge of triple cream cheese (I used Delice de Bourgogne, which is divine!)
  • sliced french, ciabatti or other rustic/artisanal bread
  • olive oil cooking spray (I recommend Pam Olive Oil spray - the olive oil makes a big difference!)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced radish
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan shards (shavings)

Instructions

    Olive Salad
  • Coarsely chop pitted olives and transfer to a medium bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and season to taste with salt & pepper. Toss well. Can be made several days in advance and stored refrigerated, in a covered container.
    Tomato Cucumber Relish
  • Combine all ingredients and season to taste with salt & pepper. Toss well. This relish is best made shortly before serving, because tomatoes taste their best when they haven't been refrigerated. It can be made an hour in advance and kept at temperature. Just hold off on adding the salt until just before serving. This prevents the tomatoes from leaching (getting too watery from the salt.) We have refrigerated the leftovers and enjoyed them the next day, as well. So it's still good after refrigeration, but best before.
    Edamame Spread
  • Add edamame and 1/2 cup salted water to a small covered saucepan and bring to a boil. Drain and rinse with cool water. Combine well drained edamame in food processor with lemon zest, lemon juice, and garlic. Process until as smooth as possible. With the motor running add 1/2 cup olive oil in slow steady stream through the feed tube and process until very smooth. Add the chopped basil and pulse to combine, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Can be made up to a week in advance. Store in refrigerator in a covered container.
    Prosciutto Crisps
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay prosciutto in a single layer on the parchment. Tip - if the prosciutto is sticking to the plastic dividers, use a sharp knife to help scrape them off. I know prosciutto can be putsy to work with, but these crisps are worth it. Bake for about 13 minutes and then cool completely. After cooling, blot both side gently with paper towels to minimize the grease. Cut into 4 pieces to create small chips. I made these a few hours in advance and refrigerated them in a covered plastic container. They were still good the next day as well.
    Toasted Bread
  • Preheat broiler (use low setting if available.) Place sliced bread on baking sheet and spray generously on both side with olive oil cooking spray. Broil and few minutes per side, watching closely until just starting to reach a light golden brown. This keeps the bread a little chewy in the center, so they don't explode when you take a bite. Keep a close eye on them because they burn quickly, especially if you slice them on the thinner side, which is how I prefer them.
    Assemble Platter
  • Take cheese out of the fridge and let warm to room temperature about 20-30 minutes before serving. Arrange cheese, toasted bread, Olive Salad, Tomato Cucumber Relish, Edamame Spread, Prosciutto Crisps, sliced radishes and Parmesan shards on a tray. Open a bottle of wine and enjoy!

Notes

Edamame Spread adapted from Fava Bean Bruschetta recipe found in Caprial Cooks for Friends cookbook.

Olive Salad and Tomato Cucumber Relish adapted from tomato stuffing recipes found in Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook.

http://itsthyme2cook.com/seasonalrecipes/bruschetta-great-snack-light-meal/

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