Summer bruschetta: It’s a personal thing

by guest blogger Kelly Madey,

Swiss Chard BruschettaSummer is the perfect time
for casual,
come as you are,
entertaining.

Where the host
is just as relaxed as the guests,
and shoes
are completely optional.

With very little planning,
and a shoestring budget,
all you really need is outdoor space,
a few loaves of crusty bread,
and a tote full of fresh veggies and fruit,
to create a simple
bruschetta-themed soiree.

Local, seasonal produce from Wrightstown Farmers’ Market last weekend took center stage at my get-together where guests went beyond the traditional tomato/basil bruschetta and created their own unique version.

Wrightstown Farmers' Market

Before everyone arrived I browned a handful of shallots in olive oil with a little salt.

Shallots

In the same pan, I cooked up morel mushrooms from Mainly Mushrooms LLC in Doylestown. They took on the flavor of the shallots.

Morel

Still using the same pan, because nothing is worse than a pile of dirty dishes, I wilted some swiss chard from Blooming Glen Farm in olive oil and garlic.

Swiss Chard

Finally, I cooked a half pound of bacon. Can you guess which pan I used? I made sure to save the bacon for last, so as not to compromise the cooked veggies for my vegetarian compadres.

All I had left to do was cut up the remaining produce, which required no cooking, and place them into bowls. The beauty of casual means that nothing needs to match. This is not an occasion to break out the fine china.

Bruschetta Spread

Finally, I raided by sister’s garden for a variety of herbs. We have a family tree filled with gardeners. My sister was lucky enough to inherit the green thumb. I must have been asleep when they were giving out this gene.

herbs

Just before guests arrived, I washed the lone pan, and checked out what items I had in the fridge. Fresh mozzarella, ricotta cheese, prosciutto, aged cheddar, and a few ears of corn added to the spread.

cheese

All I had left to do was make sure that there was a clean and unobstructed path from the back patio to the powder room. A quick spritz of air freshener gave the illusion of a much cleaner house, and a closed door to the living room hid the pile of recently acquired back-to-school supplies. What can I say, I am a sucker for an early bird sale.

As guests arrived I fired up the grill to char the corn and crisp slices of French bread from Crossroads Bakeshop.

Bread from Crossroads Bakery

My family and friends are an eclectic, fun bunch with varied diets. Some stuck to strictly vegetarian bruschetta like wilted swiss chard and ricotta, or a sweet corn and shallot combination. While others were mostly interested in the meat and protein with ham and melted cheddar, or heirloom tomato BLT.

Heirloom Tomato We shared a common bond over dessert featuring fresh blackberries and blueberries from Shady Brook Farm in Yardley with a generous drizzle of locally sourced honey from Buckingham Valley Honey.

blackberry dessert

There is no set recipe or ingredients for hosting your own bruschetta bash. Just have fun and let your imagination run wild. To keep the costs down and to achieve the best flavors, buy local/ seasonal produce. This is simple, effortless entertaining, Bucks County style.

The Wrightstown Farmers’ Market is held on Saturday from 9 am until 1 pm during the months of May through November. The market is located on 2nd Street Pike in the parking lot of the Wrightstown Township Municipal Building.

Kelly Madey writes the delicious and beautiful blog, A Bucks County Kitchen.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve had this bruscetta and it rivals any I’ve had in any restaurant. Photos are great but it’s all in the great taste. Thanks,Kelly Madey

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