If you go to any authentic Italian restaurant you’re likely to find a delicious appetizer called “bruschetta.” Traditionally, bruschetta is toasted bread covered with a tomatoes, garlic, basil, prosciutto and cheese. Depending on how hearty the toppings, bruschetta can be served as an appetizer or a light meal.

One of my favorite ways of serving bruschetta is Insalata Caprese style. Baguette slices brushed with olive oil and garlic, then toast until golden brown. Add on a slice of mozzarella cheese and spoonfuls of freshly chopped tomatoes and basil. Then I like to drizzle aged balsamic vinegar right before serving. It’s delicious!

As far as appetizers go, bruschetta is probably the most mispronounced of them all, followed by ceviche. Is it broo-shetta or broo-sketta? Luckily there’s a YouTube video that helps end this debate.

Today we’re switching out the tomatoes for another delicious red fruit, strawberries! With all the tomato and vinegar, bruschetta can be too acidic for some diets. By switching out the tomatoes for strawberries you can decrease the amount of acid by quite a bit. Plus the sweet strawberries highlight the other flavors much more so than tomatoes.

Strawberries and balsamic vinegar go hand in hand, both crisp in flavor but with totally different taste profiles; sweet vs tangy. The goat cheese balances out the brightness of these two while the basil wraps the palate with a leafy freshness that has you craving for more!

Bruschetta takes only minutes to prepare which makes it a great appetizer for holiday guests. Plus, after you and your guests have tried our strawberry version, I promise you will never want to go back!

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

  • 1 whole baguette
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly-cracked pepper
  • 1 cup of sliced Florida strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Slice baguette into four pieces and then slice each in half, lengthwise. Place the baguette open-faced on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Dust with cracked ground pepper. and toast the in the oven until golden brown.

While baguette is toasting toss strawberries, basil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl. When bread is toasted golden brown, remove from oven and spread goat cheese across each slice. Top goat cheese with prepared strawberries and serve.

Makes eight servings.