Feta, Proscuitto & Mint Bruschetta
The recipe I am sharing with you today is one of the first I created and have been finessing since I began to take an interest in cooking in high school. I cannot truly take credit for this recipe because I have to share much of it with one of the most important people in my life for the past thirty (oh my god!!!) years my fabulously, multi-talented friend forever, Lynn. Since our friendship began in elementary school, we have stayed close through the years,backpacking through Europe in college, dancing (or something faintly resembling it) at our weddings, delighting in too many bottles of wine to count and picking scraps of delicates out of the yard after her dog ate them (don’t ask). I do not know what I would do without her! Outside of my family, she has probably had the biggest influence on the person I have become and I am forever grateful for her friendship. And her ability to choose an excellent wine. And forcing me to try calamari for the first time. And always having room for dessert. But basically, her amazingly generous friendship.
Some of my fondest memories are of us sleeping over at the others home during our high school days and concocting our dinner in the kitchen (we were obviously very cool). More times than I can count, we made Oreo brownies from a box (we thought they were amazing) and created a bruschetta recipe to be served on top of a Boboli pizza crust (before the Food Network arrived and everyone realized how easy homemade crust truly is...sorry Boboli). Lynn was always the galvanizing force behind our creativity and even in high school her palette and food knowledge outshone most adults. In the years since, many of her recipes have become staples in my home, her roasted red pepper soup (which I requested for my birthday one year, it is that phenomenal), her blondies and her Mexican Chili recipe, which is now the only chili I make. She instinctively knows which wines I will fall in love with and the tastiest treats to order when we squeeze in an all too rare get together. Although this bruschetta recipe is modified from our original, teenage one, it is, hopefully, a suitable homage to my amazing friend. I hope that you and the marvelous ‘Lynn’ in your life enjoy it (with a crisp, chilled glass of rosé preferably)!
Recommendation: There are so few ingredients in this recipe so I recommend splurging for quality items, a genuine fruity and spicy EVOO, authentic prosciutto di Parma, salty Greek feta and homegrown or farmers market tomatoes.
** Note: All of the amounts below can be changed to fit your palette. If you want more cheese, add it (no one will complain). If you don’t like a lot of garlic, add less. Play with the proportions until you get the taste you prefer, ‚this just happens to be my favorite!
3 cups finely chopped tomatoes (I used a multi colored cherry tomato mix from my local farmer’s market). If you use larger tomatoes, I would recommend de-seeding them by cutting them in half and gently squeezing them into a bowl.
4 oz. crumbled feta
1 Tbs. EVOO
2 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. very finely minced red onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
4 mint leaves, chiffonade (be sure to use sweet mint and not spearmint)
10 basil leaves
4 very thin slices of prosciutto (you should be able to read a newspaper through them!
½ tsp. salt (add at end after you have tasted the feta is very salty already)
Cut your baguette into 1/4 inch slices and spray or brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put into a 300-degree oven for about 5 minutes until they are slightly toasted. If you want more garlic flavor, rub each piece with a clove of raw garlic when it is still warm from the oven.
In large glass bowl, lightly mix tomatoes, feta, red wine, EVOO, red onion, garlic, mint and basil leaves. For the prosciutto, roll each piece up individually and then cut it (similar to a chiffonade) then pull each piece apart (they stick together a bit) and cut it into smaller bites. Gently fold the prosciutto into the tomato mixture. Taste the bruschetta and add salt if necessary. Chill for about 10 minutes and then serve with crostini. You could also mix this into pasta or serve on top of grilled chicken breasts too