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by Sarah Steimer

This is one of my favorite bruschettas to make on a whim. I always have balsamic vinegar, a basil plant and tomatoes in the summer. I also don’t have to think about the mozzarella, Bill makes a bee-line to the cheese sellers at the farmer’s market every week.

  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, cubed or torn
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, torn
  • 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small baguette or another hard-crusted bread, sliced

Combine the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and vinegar in a bowl. For the best flavors, let the mixture sit in the refrigerator for about an hour.

Bruschetta works well as an appetizer, but also as a quick side dish for dinner.

Serve the mixture, cold, over the bread.

Makes about 3 cups of bruschetta mixture.

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by Sarah Steimer

I never thought about honey and tomatoes together. I'll have to see what else is possible along those lines.

  • olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 basil leaves torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 avocado halved, peeled, pitted, and sliced – toast if you so please
  • salt

Add oil to saute pan and cook garlic until translucent. Add tomatoes and honey and bring to a simmer, cooking for about five minutes. Turn off the heat and rush the tomatoes with a fork.

In a small bowl, toss the basil, jalapeno, onions, salt and pepper. Add the tomato mixture to this.

Place the avocado slices on the baguettes (about two or thee on each, depending on how thin you sliced). Top with the tomato, basil and onion mixture.

Makes about 20 pieces.

Recipe adapted from: Cookstr

Photo: Sarah Steimer

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by Sarah Steimer

Bill and I had guests over one night, but the extreme evening heat made me rethink my oven appetizer. I threw these together last minute.

  • 1/2 baguette, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces goat cheese

For the rhubarb compote:

  • 3 cups 1/2-inch pieces fresh rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 lemon

In a medium sauce pan, combine the rhubarb, lemon juice and sugar. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until rhubarb is tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. (I made this the day before for a different recipe and had it chilled.)

For a while our farmer's market basically just had piles of asparagus and rhubarb.

For the candied walnuts

  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts

In a saute pan, combine the sugar and salt over low heat. Stirring occasionally, let the sugar melt down until it resembles a brown sauce. Toss the walnuts in and mix quickly until coated. Pour the candied walnuts on a piece of wax or parchment paper and pull apart with forks (melted sugar is HOT, avoid touching it). Let cool completely.

Place about a tablespoon of goat cheese on each piece of bread. Top with rhubarb compote and a walnut or two.

Makes about 2o servings.

Recipe (or idea, I suppose): Sarah Steimer

Rhubarb compote recipe: Epicurious

Candied walnuts recipe: Chicagoist

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