Nothing quite says summer time for our family as eating alfresco. Our son Asher has been asking to "eat out da deck" since he was two years old. We just love to gather in the early evening, a few citronella candles lit, our edison bulb patio lights twinkling, a tall jug of lemon water with fresh mint from the garden. Our al fresco meals are usually more of a grazing station than a formal meal - charcuterie, crudite, something fresh off the grill. A family favourite is definitely bruschetta. Daddy (aka Chef Jered) will whip up a variety of bruschetta from whatever leftovers we have in the fridge - my kids will eat anything on a crostini it seems! During the pandemic Jered has been hosting baking class for our kids, so we've had a steady source of fresh baguette around the house as well which has been quite convenient.
I wanted to share with you three of Chef Jered's go to bruschetta recipes that we love to serve together in a bruschetta trio. You can make the components from scratch, or you can get some of these ingredients ready made at your local market (the Italian Centre as an example) and just assemble them as part of a light and easy, delicious alfresco meal! Enjoy!
Chef Jered's Bruschetta Trio
1) Ricotta & Prosciutto Bruschetta
Chef Jered's ricotta is famous among our family, friends and catering clients. He uses tons of fresh dill and large coarse flakes of sea salt in it and as garnish. If you're wanting to take the plunge and attempt making your own ricotta, Chef Jered recommends Ina Garten's Recipe. If you'd rather buy ready made, Chef Jered recommends whole milk ricotta such as Galbani brand (available at Italian Centre in Edmonton). Sidenote - outside of the bruschetta trio - this ricotta makes an incredible dip for any grazing table or crudite platter.
You'll also need some delicious high quality prosciutto de parma. Once you have your homemade or store bought ricotta and prosciutto, assembling this bruschetta couldn't be easier. Slice your fresh baguette in thick pieces and lightly toast. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, put a generous base of ricotta down and ribbon your prosciutto on top. If you're keeping things vegetarian friendly - just skip the prosciutto! Feel free to garnish with coarse flaked salt.
2) Kale & White Bean Bruschetta
This is a bit of a unique spin on bruschetta, but usually a surprising favourite! You'll need a can of cannelini beans, a bunch of kale, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.
Boil a pot of water to steam the kale. Add the kale leaves and 1 tsp salt to the boiling water. Cook til tender - about ten minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Puree half the kale with 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil, two cloves of chopped garlic and 1/2 tsp salt in a food processor. You want a smooth yet stiff consistency. Take the remaining kale and give it a rough chop, then mix it with the pureed kale.
Take 1/2 cup of the kale mixture and toss it with the cannelini beans. Spoon onto your toasted baguette and voila!
3) Traditional Tomato, Basil & Parmesan Bruschetta
The third and final element to the bruschetta trio is the classic traditional tomato bruschetta. In all honesty it's the perfect summer snack - at this point of the season, most of us have fresh tomatoes and basil in our gardens to harvest anyways. Grab some garlic, red onion and freshly grated parmesan and you've got a delicious refreshing third and final member of our bruschetta trio! It's fool proof!
If this is your first time making bruschetta, you can find more specific instructions and quantities in this recipe.
We love to mix and mingle all three types of bruschetta together when serving for a fun and colourful presentation! Wishing you and your family health and happiness! Cheers to sunshine and dining alfresco!