I had a rough week this pass week.
I’m so, but SO glad that it’s finally over (or at least in 3 more hours).
Then it will be a pack action weekend in my kitchen. I’m testing recipes, coming up with yummy stuff that involved expensive ingredients and lots of lost of taste test.
Who said that recipe development is fun?
Oh, yeah – I think I did.
Knowing about my weekend cooking frency coming up, this past week, I have been sort of half-cooking with menus of sandwiches, cereal and cheese with crackers. I just did not have it in me to be fire up the stove. That is why I was not surprise when I came home last night to find Tom outside in our backyard, over the grill, cooking a huge piece of steak. The man obviously has been craving a hot dinner, specifically in this case with meat
We don’t eat a lot of meat in our house, we are not vegetarians, but we do watch our red meat intake so it’s very rare that it makes an appearance in our kitchen. Tom goes with the flow. But, sometimes he just wants a big juicy steak.
As I sat there enjoying the almost cool evening (we are not feeling the fall over here yet) I started to crave something light, sweet and crunchy.
I know there is no reason to my palate madness.
So, I went searching in my non-existing pantry and found that I had some baguette, Gruyere and gorgonzola cheese, Prosciutto and baby spinach.
Not bad for a sandwich. But, then I remember that I had bough a Fig spread that I had yet to use. Can you scream “kitchen light bulb moments”? Yes you can.
Bruschetta! It’s fast, easy, and it was going to be great in its simplicity. I was not wrong.
Bruschetta with Fig spread, Gruyere topped with Prosciutto and Spinach
Makes: 4 medium size bruschetta.
- 4 slices of good heavy bread (baguette, Ciabatta, any crusty bread will do), cut diagonally
- 4 teaspoons of Fig Spread (I had this one, but you can use any, you can even use fresh figs or you can even go one further and make your own*)
- Grated gruyere cheese and gorgonzola to make about ½ cup together (you can also use blue cheese, goat cheese, pretty much any cheese, Figs are not finicky, they play along well with almost any type of cheese.)
- 4 slices of thinly cut prosciutto (we buy Parma or San Danielle, yes, they are expensive, but I usually buy only about ¼ pound of the stuff).
- ½ cup of baby spinach
- 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper – to taste
Since Tom had the grill going, I pre-grilled my cut up bread until they were nice and toasty. If you don’t have the grill, then you can toast them up in your oven at 400 degrees – make sure you watch them carefully so they don’t burn.
Before I spread the figs on the bread, I salted the each slice with a pinch of salt (this little trick enhances the sweetness of the fig spread). Now use about 1 teaspoon of the fig spread and cover the whole bread slice. Place them on a baking sheet and put aside.
Turn your oven on to the “high” setting of broil.
Prepare the spinach. In a bowl, mix in the spinach, add 1 or 2 pinches of salt, grate some fresh pepper on top and drizzle the balsamic vinegar – toss a bit and then drizzle the olive oil and toss some more. Put aside.
Back to the prepare slices of bread.
Top each of the slices with the cheese mixture, I put about 2 tablespoon of the grated cheese on top of each of the slices. Place the baking sheet with your breads in the hot oven, right under the broil. CAUTION DO NOT WALK AWAY – the broiler will work pretty quickly melting the cheeses so be on the look out. I actually keep the oven door open while I do this (it reminds me that I have something under the broiler!) It takes about 1-2 minutes tops for the cheese to start to bubble up and the corner of the bread to burn a bit.
Take the bruschetta out of the oven and place in a serving plate.
Top each with a slice of prosciutto. Then divide the spinach salad on top equally between all 4 bruschetta.
Serve and dig in!
*Quick Fig Spread
- 1 package (10 ounces) dried Calimyrna figs, stemmed and cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 cups)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, combine figs with sugar and 1 1/2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until most of liquid has evaporated and figs are easily pierced with the tip of a sharp paring knife, about 20 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a food processor; add lemon juice. Puree until smooth (add up to 1/4 cup additional water, if needed, to thin to desired consistency). Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month.