Strawberry & Goat Cheese Bruschetta Balsamic Reduction

Spring is finally here! The Diva Dog and I went for a walk early this morning and the birds were singing their little hearts out. The sun was  just peaking around a cloud as the rest of the world was waking up. I love the early morning!

strawberry & goat cheese bruschetta | darndelish.com

This morning I decided to make strawberry & goat cheese Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”) with a balsamic reduction for breakfast. I know, I know these are usually eaten as appetizers, but let’s be adventurous.  To some they might sound complicated to make, but they aren’t and they take surprisingly little time to prepare.

strawberry & goat cheese bruschetta | darndelish.comWhy is this called  Bruschetta instead of Crostini? If you’re wondering, it’s the bread.  Bruschetta is from the Italian word “bruscare” meaning “to roast over coals” and the Bruschetta are made by toasting whole, wide slices of rustic Italian bread on a grill.  A smaller, finer textured bread, like a baguette, is used for Crostini. Crostini are a couple of mouthfuls while one, maybe two Bruschetta if you’re really hungry, would be plenty.

strawberry & goat cheese bruschetta | darndelish.com

 This strawberry & Goat Cheese Bruschetta with a balsamic reduction would be a great appetizer to serve your guests or family while your entrée was cooking on the grill.

Strawberry & Goat Cheese Bruschetta Balsamic Reduction

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6 - 12 servings

Serving Size: 1 or 2 per person

Ingredients

  • 12 slices Italian bread, ( I used an Artisan Italian loaf, I like the crunch when it's toasted)
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 12 ounces strawberries, washed and diced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus extra for garnishing
  • 1 cup goat cheese at room temperature
  • Freshly ground sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

    Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
  • Heat vinegar in a small skillet over medium to low heat. Simmer it until reduced by half. You want a slow slimmer so you don't burn the edges of the vinegar.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temp. I poured mine into a small glass with a spout for easy pouring.
  • Bread
  • Get your grill set for high heat. Place bread slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil on both sides. Set aside.
  • Strawberries
  • Slice your strawberries and combine them with some of the chopped fresh thyme in a bowl and set aside. Save a bit of the thyme to garnish your Bruschetta.
  • Grill
  • Grill your bread on the preheated gill until it's browned and gets a bit of smokey char- not too much. You don't want to taste burnt bread. It should be around 2 1/2 - 3 mins per side.
  • Goat Cheese
  • Smooth your goat cheese together to make it spreadable then slather it on your grilled bread.
  • Pull It Together
  • Add freshly ground black pepper, salt and balsamic vinegar reduction to strawberries.
  • Spoon the mixture over the goat cheese topped bread.
  • If you have any of the Balsamic vinegar left in the strawberry bowl you can use a spoon to drizzle a tiny bit over each Bruschetta.
  • Sprinkle the remaining thyme over the strawberries
  • ENJOY!

Notes

If you don't have a grill you can use your broiler. Just watch your bread doesn't burn.

http://darndelish.com/strawberry-goat-cheese-bruschetta-balsamic-reduction/

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Fire Roasted Tomato, Ground Beef & Italian Sausage Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade spaghetti sauce is mandatory at our house.  Hubby could and has eaten spaghetti for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Yes, it was all in the same day. Pasta is one of our “comfort foods.”
spaghetti sauce

 My family likes a sweet spaghetti sauce so we add a secret ingredient. I’ll share it with you.  We used to use sugar but we wanted to try a healthier way to sweeten it.

spaghetti sauce

You can’t beat cooking with veggies and herbs from you’re own garden. I can hardly wait to start planting my garden and the bell peppers will be from there. Same with the fresh herbs.  I love going out into our yard and gathering fresh veggies and herbs to flavor our meals–they just taste better.  This year I need to plant more tomatoes because the ones  I canned aren’t lasting till winter ends.

peppers for spaghetti sauce

This winter seems to be hanging on and on. It can’t be over soon enough for me. I can’t wait till I can fire roast fresh tomatoes from our garden this summer. In the mean time, if you’re looking for a quick way to fire roast tomatoes the Kitchn  has an excellent tutorial on it.

Yumalicious Spaghetti Sauce

Rating: 51

Yield: 12-14 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 (20 ounce) cans of diced tomatoes (I used Hunts Basil, Garlic & Oregano)
  • 1 (20 ounce) can of tomato sauce (I used Hunts)
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (Hunts was used)
  • 1 (12 ounce) can of tomato paste
  • 1 large red pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 large green pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • 6 fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 2 or 3 fresh sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed then chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of raisin puree (the secret ingredient)
  • 2 1/4 pounds of lean ground chuck
  • 1 (16 ounces) package of mild Italian sausage

Instructions

  • Put everything, except the bay leaf and meat, into a large pot (I used a 16 quart stock pot)
  • Use 2 tablespoons of olive oil to fry up the sausage until it's no longer pink then drop it in with the veggies. I never have any oil left to strain off. (I use Jimmy Dean's Mild Italian Sausage)
  • Fry up the ground chuck. Make sure you drain off all the oil before dropping the cooked meat into your sauce pot.
  • Drop in your bay leaves
  • Give it a quick stir. Cook on low for for 6 - 8 hours stirring occasionally to make sure nothing burns on the bottom of the pot. I've done this in a slow cooker and my family and I prefer to cook it on the stove. We find the taste is better. Cook it with a lid partially covering it until the last hour. Uncovering it will allow it to cook down more and thicken up.
  • Remember to take the bay leaves out before serving if you've used dried ones.
  • Adjust your seasonings for the last 15 mins before serving.

Notes

It make a large amount of spaghetti so you'll have some for freezing for another time or two depending on how many you're serving. We usually get between servings. It freezes well.

http://darndelish.com/fire-roasted-tomato-ground-beef-italian-sausage-spaghetti-sauce/

Our spaghetti sauce recipe is the result of combining mine and my hubby’s personal recipe.  Do you have a family recipe for spaghetti sauce too?