I think Jeff secretly loves when I go out of town. Oh, sure, he calls to tell me he misses me, and he says the house is too quiet. But he gets to hog the tv remote, crank up the air conditioning, and order Domino’s pizza. What’s not to love about that? When I’m not around, Jeff dives into the foods I eschew – greasy take-out, Doritos, candy bars. And I bet he’s not alone among husbands in his wife-free habits.
Of course, I indulge myself when Jeff is away, too. My indulgences are just a little different… no football or Snickers for me. No, I go all-out girl. Facial masks and whiney chick music and pretty, luxurious food. Tea sandwiches and macerated fruit salads, and gorgeous strawberry, balsamic, and goat cheese bruschetta.
I had made the strawberry balsamic jam a few weeks ago, when our CSA share was bursting with red berries. I’ve been spreading it on everything from English muffins to ham sandwiches, but this is by far my favorite way to enjoy the jam. Tangy, creamy goat cheese and rich, sweet strawberry jam with fresh, aromatic basil. Perfection. These little gems would be a great brunch hors d’oeuvre, or a perfect light lunch with a salad. They’d make awesome picnic fare, or a book-club treat, or even a midnight snack. Basically, they are just yummy. Anytime. Particularly when your goat-cheese hating husband is out of town.
Strawberry, Balsamic, Goat Cheese Bruschetta
makes about 2 dozen
2 cups hulled strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 small baguette
5 ounces soft goat cheese
pinch of salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mash the berries slightly. Add the sugar and vinegar and simmer on low heat about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick. Cool to room temperature.
Cut the bread on a diagonal into 1/2 inch thick slices and toast the bread lightly in the toaster oven. Spread the toasts with the goat cheese and sprinkle with salt. Spoon the strawberry balsamic jam over the goat cheese and top with the basil. Serve immediately.