If you live in the White Rock area, you know what I'm talking about when I say Cielo's Bruschetta. You probably have memories of sitting on the patio, a glass of sangria in hand, with the sun setting over the pier -the sky a myriad of oranges, pinks, and blues. The smell of salt on the summer night ocean air. And basil. And balsamic reduction.
This summer came round and I was craving the bruschetta, but not the headache that comes with me eating gluten. A few years ago I had asked the staff what the cheeses were in the recipe and after that putting everything else together was pretty simple. I've made my own pesto- I think it has a freshness (compared to the stuff in a jar) that adds a bit of oomph to the recipe. I'm not sure whether or not they make their own but it's so simple so why not?!
Preheat your oven to 350. Take your cheeses -I've used a mix of goat cheese, cream cheese, and cambozola- and blend them together with a hand mixer/blender. Play with the ratio here- keep in mind the sharpness of the cheeses will subdue a bit when it's baked. I found my mix to be quite pungent but the blue in the cambozola mellowed out after being in the oven. Put the cheese mix into the corner of a ziploc bag and twist the side -making a simple piping bag.
For bread I really like the gluten & GMO free Buckwheat GluteNull from Choices. The South Surrey location gets deliveries every thursday. Get it fresh, cut it into slices and freeze. For this recipe cut 6-8 slices and lay them straight on the rack in the oven. I toast the bread first so it crisps up and doesn't get too soggy from the cheese and sauces. Toast for 6-10 minutes or until the edges just start to get crispy.
In a food processor -or trusty hand mixer- put a cup of basil leaves and 2-3 cloves of garlic. Squeeze half a lemon's juice. Drizzle a few tablespoons of olive oil in as you blend to get a somewhat pastey texture. You want it on the thicker side so it doesn't got everywhere all over your bread.
Remove the toasts from the oven and pipe a small dollop of the cheese mixture into each of the corners of the bread (in the pictures I only did diagonals- you'll see why in a moment!) Place half or a quarter of tomato in the middle.
Bake the toasts again until the cheese mixture browns slightly, about 8-10 minutes. Create a vertical line with the pesto between the cheesy corners. Do the same diagonally with the sundried tomato pesto. This means that when you cut the toasts into 4 you get a bite of everything in one piece.
Cut your toasts into 4, and drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve while hot! Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
- 1 loaf GluteNell Buckwheat Gluten & GMO Free Bread
- 1/3 c. Cream Cheese
- 1/3 c. Goat Cheese
- 1/4 c. Cambozola (Gorgonzola or Blue Cheese work too)
- 1 c. Basil
- 2-3 cloves Garlic
- Juice from 1/2 Lemon
- 3-6 tbsp Olive Oil
- Cherry/Strawberry/Grape Tomatoes to garnish
- 1/4 c. Sundried Tomato Pesto
- Balsamic Reduction
- Preheat oven to 350. Cut bread into 1/4" slices, and place in the oven directly on the wire rack, toasting until edges begin to crisp. With your hand blender/mixer combine cheeses, and put into the edge of a ziploc bag. Combine basil, garlic, lemon juice & olive oil in food processor/ hand blender cup and pulse until desired consistency. Remove toasts from oven and pipe cheese into the four corners of the toasts. Place a halved or quartered tomato in the center. Bake until cheese begins to go golden. Place a line of fresh pesto vertically between the cheese, and sundered tomato pesto horizontally. Cut into four pieces and drizzle with balsamic reduction. Serve warm.
- If you have leftover cheese freeze in the bag. Defrost in the fridge overnight.
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Photos by Hannah Cummins Photgraphy