Tuscany in the Florida Sunshine


Ambling through the warm, sun-filled garden this morning, I felt the dew setting around me with the fragrance of fresh tomatoes and the tacky feel of cucumbers hovering around the towering sunflowers surrounding me. These incredible sensations made me ponder something special and unique in the excellent flavor combinations that encompassed me. I immediately began to think of the light and refreshing traditional Italian treat of bruschetta.

Italy claims it as their bruschetta, this delicate and tasty pleasure dates back to the Roman Empire. Historically it was bread made with no salt, a day old, and doused with the oil from olive farmers to test the quality of their oils. And thus, we have bruschetta! Over time the Italians adapted it into their own, rubbed in fresh garlic and topped the crusty bread with an array of cured meats, or vegetables and fresh herbs.

With evolution still kicking in, we here in America tend to toast whatever bread we can find and top it with marinated tomatoes, garlic, basil and some delicious cheese, such as what I prefer, a delectable burrata. I'm here to take it to an even more elevated state. Let's forget the bread and cheese all together, add some fresh garden cucumbers, and use this historical dish in any way we see fit! Well, maybe not the burrata!

From a simple gift as an amuse bouche to a tasting spoon. To the topping of your favorite sea swimmer, lavishly covering a delightful chard yard bird, or even toss it with your favorite pasta Alfredo. This versatile recipe can fill you with tremendous joy and a sense of summertime and might even intrigue your understanding of some history.

So, with no haste, run out, scoop up your ingredients from your local farmers and let's make it for whatever summertime occasion it calls for.

As the French say, Bon appetite! And as always from Taste Catering and Barn Yard Farms, I wish you well, and God bless!

Summertime Bruschetta Ingredients

Yields approximately 5 cups

10 medium Roma tomatoes

1/2 seedless cucumber

2 large garlic cloves, peeled

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar

2 oz Barn Yard Farms Micro Basil

Fresh cracked sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste.

Top off with balsamic reduction drizzle to make it even more amazing!

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.

Slice Roma tomatoes 1/4 inch thick, then medium dice

Slice cucumbers 1/4 inch thick and then medium dice

Press the garlic or fine dice.

Add olive oil.

Add balsamic.

Rough chop micro basil, saving some, whole, for garnish.

Salt and pepper to taste

Toss well, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Serve on or with anything you like!