Caprese Bruschetta

Now that our social lives are getting back on track, we feel a little rusty in the dinner party/entertaining game. We find ourselves going back to the basics as we dust the rust off and have more people over for dinner. One of our simple hacks to make entertaining easy is to have an interactive appetizer as part of the menu. While our guests are having a drink they can also stay busy making their first bites of food. This way, we can be in the kitchen putting the finishing touches on dinner. We love this caprese bruschetta because the ingredients are so simple but the taste is so impressive. By swapping fresh tomatoes out for garlic roasted tomatoes, traditional fresh mozzarella for creamy burrata, and simple basil leaves for homemade pesto, we have made each ingredient feel more special with hardly any effort. This appetizer is bursting with flavor and perfect for any summer gathering.

Caprese Bruschetta

  • Servings: 4
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A simple appetizer featuring our favorite summer ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, sliced on a bias
  • 1 ball fresh burrata, drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 3 tbs olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 batch homemade pesto
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil and the sliced garlic. Lay everything in a single layer on a cookie sheet and season well with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the tomatoes are just bursting. Use a slotted spatula to remove the tomatoes and garlic from the pan and into a serving bowl, leaving any juices and oils behind. Toss the baguette slices with the oils from the pan and put in the oven. Toast for about 5 minutes, or until the baguette is crispy.
  3. While the tomatoes are cooking, make the pesto. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in a small bowl for serving.
  4. Drain the burrata and pat it dry with a paper towel. Carefully slice the burrata into segments and lay it in the serving platter. Season the burrata with a little salt and freshly cracked pepper. Assemble the serving tray with the tomatoes, pesto, and baguette slices. Serve immediately.


Bruschetta Chicken

Summer is officially on the way and with it comes tomato season! We love to grow our own tomatoes and pick them up from the farmers market. You can not beat the taste of a fresh, seasonal tomato. We wanted to fancy up a simple chicken recipe and opted to made a “bruschetta” style grilled chicken for summer. The tomato, basil, and caper topping is perfectly refreshing on chicken and a great entrée for any cookout this summer. The recipe is light and simple, but bursting with flavor. For easy entertaining, you can make the bruschetta mix a few hours ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. We prefer the mix to be closer to room temperature so pull it out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you plan to serve the chicken.

Bruschetta Chicken

  • Servings: 4
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  A great chicken entrée for a summer cookout. The tomato, caper, and basil “bruschetta” topping is the perfect accompaniment to grilled chicken and a night on the patio.

Ingredients

  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 large tomatoes on the vine, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs capers, drained
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed basil, chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbs balsamic glaze
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees).
  2. Mix the 1/4 cup olive oil, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper together in a small mixing bowl. Drizzle the mixture over the chicken breasts and toss well to coat. Grill the chicken for 7-8 minutes per side, or about 15 minutes total. The juices of the chicken should run clear and the chicken should have an internal temp of 165 degrees. Gently tent the chicken with foil after it has come off the grill and let is rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, make the bruschetta topping. Dice the tomatoes and rid them of as much of their seeds as possible. Put them in a medium mixing bowl along with the remaining bruschetta ingredients (red onion – balsamic glaze). Use a spoon to gently toss to combine all of the ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside until the chicken has finished resting.
  4. After the chicken has finished resting, slice it into 1/2 inch thick slices. Serve the sliced chicken on a platter and generously top with the bruschetta mix. Serve immediately.


Tomato, Proscuitto, & Ricotta Bruschetta

A few months back we posted a recipe for how to make tomato confit, and we have been making it regularly ever since. The tomatoes can last up to four weeks in the refrigerator – just make sure they are completely cooled before they are sealed into a container. The tomatoes can also be frozen and used in recipes like our Angel Hair with Burrata & Tomatoes. We love to mix and match how we use them, and for this rendition we are using them as a bruschetta condiment. We love the combination of the sweet and herby tomatoes, the salty prosciutto, and the creamy whipped ricotta. You can serve this as an appetizer on baguette – we like to have everything separate on a board and let people assemble themselves- or use larger slices of bread for brunch or a light dinner. 

Tomato, Prosciutto, & Ricotta Bruschetta 
Makes: 16 appetizer pieces 
Prep Time: 1 hour if preparing the tomato confit    Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 3/4 recipe for tomato confit (you want to use 1 1/2 lbs of tomatoes)
  • 1 baguette, sliced on a bias into 16 slices 
  • 1/3 cup olive oil 
  • 1 container ricotta cheese (approx. 16 oz) 
  • 1/2 lb thinly sliced prosciutto, torn into bite-sized pieces 
  • 1 container of basil leaves, stems removed and roughly chopped 
  • balsamic glaze, for garnish 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Prepare the tomato confit as instructed in the link above. Set aside and let the tomatoes cool to room temperature. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. 
  3. Slice the baguette and drizzle the olive oil over top of the slices. Toss to coat on both sides and season with salt and pepper. Lay in a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until they are crispy. 
  4. Use a hand mixer to whip the ricotta on medium-high speed for at least two full minutes. You can use a whisk for this and do it by hand if you want a workout, but it will take a few more minutes. The ricotta should be light and fluffy and a visibly different texture than it was in the container. 
  5. Assemble the bruschetta by layering a spoonful of ricotta onto the bottom of the toast. Top with 2-3 tomatoes, a few pieces of prosciutto, and basil. Drizzle with a bit of balsamic glaze and serve immediately. 

Semi-Homemade Pesto Caprese Salad

This salad qualifies as a “mostly homemade” recipe instead of semi-homemade recipe, it is that easy. Who says cooking needs to be hard?! Simple is the theme with this salad and boy is it delicious. With just a little chopping and mixing  you can have a healthy, nutritious, and tasty salad within 15 minutes. We love this recipe for a quick workday lunch with chicken but this it easily be altered to be an appetizer or side dish by removing the protein. Like all of our recipes, mix and match ingredients that you have on hand to make this recipe work for you. 

Semi-Homemade Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad  
Makes: 4 side dish servings; 2 main course servings 
Prep Time: 10 minutes    Total Time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 English cucumber 
  • 1 package of grape tomatoes 
  • 1 package Ciliegine mozzarella (small mozzarella balls)
  • 4 tbs pesto 
  • 1 rotisserie chicken or package of  pre-cooked chicken, optional 
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Chop the cucumber and half the grape tomatoes and place in a bowl. 
  2. Add the mozzarella (be sure to drain) and pesto in a bowl. Gently mix until the pesto is evenly distributed among the ingredients, without wrecking the tomatoes. 
  3. Top with the chicken (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste. That’s it. So simple, so easy, and so good! 

Angel Hair with Confit Tomatoes & Burrata

Yesterday we posted a detailed recipe about how we confit cherry tomatoes during the spring and late fall to help give out-of-season tomatoes a flavor boost. We infuse them by cooking the tomatoes low and slow in the oven in a bath of olive oil, garlic, and herbs to help bring them to life. These little blistered gems are great for storing in the fridge and freezer so that they are available to us on a whim. One of our favorite uses of them is for pasta. The fresh tomatoes give a nice remix to traditional pureed tomato sauce and are already super flavorful from the garlic and herbs. We top the angel hair with fresh burrata and basil for the ultimate simple dinner. If you’ve made the tomatoes in advance, dinner is on the table in less than 20 minutes.

Angel Hair with Confit Tomatoes & Burrata

Makes: 4 servings

Total Time: 20 minutes if you have made the tomatoes in advance; 1 hour 20 minutes if you have not

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb angel hair pasta
  • 2 cups confit tomatoes with their oils and juices
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 package burrata (usually comes with two balls)
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and garlic to the pan. Sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the garlic is starting to crisp and become fragrant. Add the white wine and confit tomatoes to the pan and cook another 3 minutes. Reduce the heat of the pan to low until the pasta is finished.
  2. Heat a large stock pot with salted water. Bring to a boil and cook the angel hair according to package directions, about 4 minutes. Remove 1 cup of the water from the pot before draining the pasta. Drain in the sink and throw the pasta directly into the tomato pan. Increase the heat to medium high.
  3. Use tongs to toss the pasta in the tomato sauce so that the pasta is coated with the sauce. Add the pasta water as needed if the tomatoes and oil seem too dry. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Serve the pasta in a large, family style bowl. Top with the burrata, basil, and another drizzle of olive oil.

Marinara Sauce

Tate’s dad is an Italian and there is nothing that he likes more than pasta with red sauce. Red sauce is a staple in both of his parents kitchens and serves as the base for many family recipes. We asked for a recipe last year and have delivered it here to you with our own twist. What we love about this sauce is that it is simple to put together but full of flavor. Depending on if you like basil or parsley, you can tweak the herbs in this recipe to cater to your individual taste. The most important part is choosing canned tomatoes that are high quality. Our personal preference is San Marzano.

You can use this recipe for dozens and dozens of dishes, including our Proscuitto Stuffed Chicken Breasts, a sauce for lasagna, or even a sauce for homemade pizza. It stores well in the freezer, so making a big batch is great to have extra on hand for later on.

Marinara Sauce

Makes: 8 cups of sauce

Active Cooking Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 80 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2, 14.5 cans whole plum tomatoes
  • 2 cups fresh basil
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, sliced into thin slices
  • 1 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1, 8 oz can tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Place the tomatoes and basil into a food processor and blend until completely pureed.
  • In a stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic. Stir the garlic and sauté 3-4 minutes, or until it is starting to brown. Add the parsley and stir.
  • Add the tomato puree and tomato paste to the pot. Stir to mix everything together well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a low simmer, cover the pot, and cook for at least one hour.
  • Season with salt and pepper, if desired, before serving.