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FRESH and Festive: Bruschetta Bar

Our dear friend Christine Gardner, the Tyler Paper Food Editor, stopped in for a “FRESH Ideas” filming in the Taste Kitchen and blew me away with one of her creative and delicious entertaining suggestions.

She presented what she called a “bruschetta bar,” equipped with numerous varieties of toppings representing global flavors that are sweet, savory and above all, fresh.  Each recipe consists of ingredients that perfectly complement one another and you can use as much or as little of each one to suit your taste.

Christine designed the bruschetta toppings to be quick and easy to assemble.  In fact, many of the ingredients can be purchased already chopped.  She suggests serving the toppings in large martini glasses or other stemware with toasted baguette slices, pita chips or flatbread scattered on a tray around the glasses.  You can even purchase crostini and flatbreads made fresh in our Bakery every day!

Here are a few of her ideas:

Mediterranean: Chopped artichokes, crumbled feta cheese, toasted slivered almonds and chopped green olives tossed in a small amount of chopped fresh oregano, lemon juice, honey and extra virgin olive oil.

Italian Caprese Twist: Chop and combine Italian salami, sun-dried tomatoes, basil and mozzarella and stir in a small amount of truffle oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Truffle oil can be very strong so you may want to combine it with some olive oil to tone down the flavor.

Waldorf Wild Card: Chopped walnuts, diced pears, crumbled blue cheese and marinated and chopped cippolini onions (available on the olive bar).

Proscuitto and Melon: Thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma, shaved cantaloupe pieces and chopped arugula drizzled with a balsamic glaze.

Visit our website for a demonstration video and even more ideas.

And if you haven’t checked out the FRESH Ideas segment, you can view it on Tuesdays on the CBS19 5 o’clock news and find the recipes in the Wednesday Food section of the Tyler Paper.