Baby, It's Hot Outside!

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With summer temps in full swing, the last place I want to be is cooking dinner in my sweltering little kitchen, so it's outside to the garden instead! My husband and I eat this dish year-round and simply change the toppings with the seasons- it's simple, fresh, incredibly satisfying, and pairs great with rose!

G A R D E N  B R U S C H E T T A

 

Yield: 2-3 people for main, or 8 for appetizer

i n g r e d i e n t s
 

1 baguette, cut in half lengthwise, drizzled with:
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin pieces
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 pinches sea salt

2 zucchini, diced or cut into half moons
1 large shallot, sliced
1 clove garlic, sliced

3-4 tomatoes, diced; or 1 pt little tomatoes cut in half
zest of 1 lemon
3 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2-3 pinches sea salt
1 cucumber, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scooped out, and cut into small dice

your favorite herbs and blooms, such as basil, mint, thyme, nasturtium,...
extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
flaky sea salt for finishing (I use Jacobson Salt Co because it's absolutely gorgeous)

 

m e t h o d

  1. Open yourself a chilled bottle of your favorite rose and take a sip.
  2. Grill your baguette on high heat, cut-side down, just for a few minutes until it's dry to the touch. Remove from the heat and
  3. Place your baguette on a sheet pan and top with the sliced mozzarella, olive oil, and salt, then place the sheet pan back on the grill, drop the heat to medium, and lower the cover. Check-in periodically to be sure that the bread isn't burning. It should take about 7-10 minutes until the cheese begins to brown. (If you are using an oven, bake the bread in 425 degrees for about 7-10 minutes, until the cheese is golden brown)
  4. Heat a skillet on your grill's side burner, or directly on the grill after the bread has come off, coat the bottom with oil and, when it's screaming hot, add your sliced zucchini. shimmy the pan so that the zukes are all in an even layer and then let them alone for a few minutes until the heat-side has browned. They will begin to release on their own when you shake the pan- that's how you'll know they're ready. 
  5. Add a few pinches of salt, the shallot, and garlic. Stir, then remove from the heat
  6. In a large mixing bow, combine your cut tomatoes, cucumber, lemon zest, and all the oil and contents of the zucchini pan and toss them together. Add a little more olive oil and taste for seasoning. If it tastes a little flat, squeeze half of your lemon over the top for a bit of acidity- that always makes a nice pop.
  7. Now to assemble: take a few tablespoons of the veg mixture and spoon it right on top of the cheesy toast. Sprinkle with your favorite herbs, a little drizzle of olive oil for good measure, a few pinches of your finishing salt, et voila! You're all ready!

I hope you enjoy! Cheers!!