Last year around this time a friend and I took our two toddlers (both around 18-months of age) strawberry picking. Looking back on it now, so much could have gone wrong. After all, we drove 40 minutes to pick strawberries in a hot field with babies. Not exactly a walk in the park.
And yet in spite of a very hot April day, the kids loved it. No, they weren’t the most discerning pickers, but they picked up the concept quickly and happily munched their way down each row. The u-pick farm must have lost money on us.
The strawberry season typically opens in mid-to late April here in Charlotte and I’m looking forward to taking my daughter to pick again this year at a local farm. I already have plans to freeze berries for smoothies, put up others in a batch of strawberry jam, and bake my favorite rhubarb and strawberry pie. We’ll also need plenty just for eating. I hope my girl is ready to make a day of it – we’ve got our picking cut out for us.
Some of our haul will most certainly be used to make this spring bruschetta. Goat cheese, thinly sliced basil and sliced strawberries top toasts that are then drizzled with either balsamic glaze or honey.
For those that love traditional tomato bruschetta, you’ll love the use of balsamic glaze on this early season version that shares many similarities to its late summer predecessor. If you opt for honey, this still savory appetizer pairs beautifully with a glass of white wine. I’m partial to serving it with a riesling as I find the two play beautifully together. Happy cooking!
Strawberry, Goat Cheese, and Basil Bruschetta – Printer Friendly Recipe
Makes about 2-dozen pieces
You can opt for balsamic glaze over the honey or vice versa, but I’m not for depriving myself of either. I like to drizzle half of these bruschetta with honey and the other half with the balsamic glaze to satisfy all my cravings.
1 loaf of French bread, cut into ¼-inch thick slices
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-pint (1 lb) strawberries, washed, hulled, and thinly sliced
4 ounces of goat cheese
Balsamic glaze, to taste
Honey, to taste
½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Brush the bread slices with olive and place on a baking sheet. Toast the bread slices in the oven for about 8 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.
Smear each toast with about ¾ teaspoon goat cheese and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Drizzle with either honey or balsamic glaze and then garnish with basil. Serve immediately.