Recipe: Open-faced grilled cheese bruschetta, by Amanda Long |

Recipe: Open-faced grilled cheese bruschetta, by Amanda Long

Amanda Long

Summer is near, the kids are out of school and things can either slow down or get busier for you. For us, it seems to slow down a bit.

With the change of pace, we tend to connect more and spend more time just hanging out. We like to eat our dinners out on the back patio and then hang outside for the evening. The weather has been a little chilly still for June, but we enjoy being outside in our sweatshirts.

Bruschetta is a great summer recipe and makes a great dinner during warmer months when you don’t feel like cooking. You can even grill the bread so you don’t have to turn on the oven.

What’s even better is tomatoes are in season and fresh from the Carson Farmer’s Market, or your garden and they taste amazing.

Bruschetta is simple to make and tasty to boot. It’s great for easy weeknights or to amaze your friends as an appetizer to your next barbecue or picnic.

My secret ingredient is capers. I love the salty flavor; it adds with the contrast of creamy cheese.

4 tablespoons olive oil

5 cloves garlic, finely minced

3 large tomatoes, diced

1 whole baguette or crusty loaf

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons capers without juice

16 whole fresh basil leaves, plus more as needed, chiffonade

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Gouda or a brie-like cheese (my favorite is Domaine du Vallage the Wedge on Wheels at the Carson Farmer’s Market carries it. It’s similar to Mt. Tam from Cowgirl Creamery).

Mix tomatoes, garlic, balsamic vinegar, capers, basil, salt and pepper. I like to let it sit for 1 hour or so before I serve it.

Slice the baguette into thin slices and toast in the oven at 400 degrees until they are toasty. Remove from the oven rub with a clove of garlic and top with cheese slice and cool.

Just before serving, top the bread slices with bruschetta.

You can use sliced cheese and let it melt, then store it covered until you’re ready to serve. Or you can use spreadable creamy cheese like a brie; if you’re using a spreadable cheese, add the cheese and top with bruschetta right before serving.