I always think of summer as bruschetta season; there’s no better way to eat fresh tomato than with a little mozzarella, olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and basil. It’s freshness personified. In fact, the bruschetta is incredibly flexible, so you can use it to highlight whatever fruit or vegetable is in full season.
I’ve been experimenting with roasting unusual fruits and vegetables on the grill this summer — from lettuce to pineapple — and I wondered if that smoky caramelizing effect would work well with a fruit bruschetta. Short answer: Oh, yes.
It’s All About Balance
The key to designing your own baguette topping goodness is to balance the flavors. For this recipe, I used ripe pears with salty Serrano jamon and cool goats milk cheese (chèvre). The smoke and heat from roasting it (I used a grill, but you could also do it in your oven at 400 degrees until golden brown) caramelizes the sugars and softens the fruit. The result is this truly addictive balance of sweet and salty, crunchy and smooth.
The great thing is you can really just swap out whatever you like for something else; if you don’t want pears, then use cherries or plums or mango. Don’t like Serrano, then don’t use it. Swap the chèvre for ricotta and add a little sugar to sweeten it up. Use basil or mint or parsley or a balsamic reduction to top it, or use nothing at all.
This is one of those recipes where you really just need a baguette plus whatever you have in your fridge, which, to me, makes the perfect summer dish because it’s zero fuss. Just pair it with a pear pomegranate Prosecco cocktail and bliss out.
Roasted Pear Bruschetta
- 3 Bosch pears
- 3 tablespoons honey
- kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- 1 baguette
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 cup of chèvre (goats milk cheese)
- 2 ounces of Serrano jamon
- parsley (optional)
With a very sharp knife, cut the pears length-wise, from the top of the pear down, to create whole slices of pear (you can slice right through the middle if your knife is sharp enough). Lay out your pear slices on a cookie sheet and coat with the honey, then sprinkle the salt and pepper to taste. If you’re grilling these, put them on a middle heat grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. If you’re roasting them in the oven, you can cook them for about 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees until they become golden brown.
To assemble the bruschetta, cut the baguette into 1-inch tall rounds and toast under your broiler for 2-3 minutes until they become crispy. Drizzle with olive oil and rub a clove of garlic onto the surface of each one until lightly flavored. Then top with the cheese, the jamon, and finally the roasted pear.
Pear Pomegranate Prosecco Cocktail
- 1 cup pear nectar
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tablespoons grenade
- 1 bottle of Prosecco
Combine and serve icy cold.
Photos are courtesy of the author.