Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer's Finally Here - Bruschetta

We just returned from a week and a half away in the mountains of West Virginia. No Internet. No Phones. No TV. Surprisingly, it was pure heaven. We went to this rustic resort called Capon Springs where the cold spring waters heal all, but the food will give you a heart attack if you stay for too long. While I love homemade cookies, breads, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and butter, by the end of the week I was dying for some fresh veggies.

Luckily, on the way home, hubby, baby girl and I stopped off at a great West Virginia farmstand and bought loads of peaches, tomatoes, corn, green beans and eggplants. I was so impatient for the watery sweetness of a fresh tomato, I couldn't wait to get home and ate the tomato like an apple right then and there. After the crazy cold weather we've been experiencing in New York, I finally realized summer was really here.

The next day, after picking up a still hot baguette from the bakery, I decided Tomato and Chickpea Bruschetta with Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese was just what we needed. Baby girl's not a huge fan of raw tomatoes yet and for some reason she was boycotting her usual fave of chickpeas too so I tried that age old eat two chickpeas before you get an olive and a piece of cheese trick. It worked wonders until she started trying to secretly spit the chickpeas down her shirt. She's a sneaky little thing. I finally realized that baguette with olives and cheese wasn't a half bad lunch in and of itself so hubby and I demolished the bruschetta while baby girl became an honorary Greek baby.

It was a perfect way to detox from a week of good, but very heavy food!!

Marinated Tomato & Chickpea Bruschetta with Kalamata Olives and Feta Cheese
(Bruschetta is so easy. Use this recipe as an outline and create your own flavor combinations. Word to the wise, bruschetta depends upon the freshest local ingredients. Don't try this in the middle of winter in Maine.)

What You'll Need:

One ridiculously fresh baguette or loaf of Italian bread (if you can find whole wheat, more power to you)
One 15 oz. can of chickpeas rinsed
Two large beefsteak tomatoes chopped
2/3 cup good quality olive oil
1/3 cup good quality Balsamic vinegar
One pound of feta cheese
One pound of pitted Kalamata olives halved

In a medium salad bowl, add the oil, balsamic vinegar and one clove of minced garlic. Don't be shy, you want enough so that the tomatoes and chickpeas are immersed half way. Whisk vigorously and add the chick peas and chopped tomatoes. Stir until it's well coated and let it marinate for about half an hour, coming back occasionally to stir.

To serve, cut the baguette down the middle and then into squares. Brush a bit of olive on each piece, sprinkle with salt and pop into the toaster oven until they are lightly golden. Then arrange the bread on a platter and top with the tomato and chickpea mixture. Finally, sprinkle a bit of feta cheese and a few olives on each piece. Voila! A light and tasty meal with very little effort. This is the perfect dish on a hot, hot day when your air conditioner just isn't doing it and you don't feel like turning on the oven.

Approximate Dinner Cost
• Groceries - $7.00
• Leftovers – We're still eating them! I had to buy another baguette this morning. 7 servings and counting!

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1 comment:

  1. Ah, the old chickpea down the shirt trick! Sneaky baby girl!

    This sounds so wonderful...I may just have to have this for breakfast! Yay summer!



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