|Herbed Strawberry Bruschetta with Whipped Feta + Pink Peppercorn Balsamic Reduction |
on Olive Oil Fried Multigrain Toast
For the Whipped Feta Cheese:
8oz Creamy Feta Cheese, Room Temperature (or very soft)
2oz Cream Cheese, Room Temperature (or very soft)
3T Cold Heavy Cream
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
For the Herbed Strawberry Bruschetta Topping:
1 Pint of Fresh Strawberries, Cut into Cubes
2T Balsamic Vinegar + 1-2T Sugar (depending how ripe your berries are)
1 Lemon, Zested & Juiced
2T Olive Oil
Big Handful of Fresh Basil + Mint, Minced
2T Minced Chives
Fleur de Sel + Fresh Cracked Pepper, To Taste
¼t Red Pepper Flakes
For the Pink Peppercorn Balsamic Reduction:
¼C Balsamic Vinegar
½t Crushed Pink Peppercorns (or to taste)
For the Bruschetta:
Prepared Herbed Strawberry Bruschetta Topping
Prepared Whipped Feta Cheese (plus crumbled feta for garnish)
Slices of Multigrain Bread
Olive Oil, For Frying
Prepared Pink Peppercorn Balsamic Reduction, For Drizzling
Freshly Minced Basil, Chives, & Mint, For Garnishing
1. For the Whipped Feta Cheese: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the softened cream cheese and salt until thoroughly mixed. Scrape down the sides and turn the mixer to medium-high speed and add in ¼C heavy cream. Continue whipping, while continuously adding a little bit of a crumbled feta cheese at a time, until the feta cheese is combined throughout. Add in the remaining ¼C heavy cream and beat on high until it is light & fluffy. Season the feta cheese with salt & pepper to taste. Spoon this mixture onto a serving plate.
2. For the Herbed Strawberry Bruschetta: In a large mixing bowl, toss together the cubed strawberries, balsamic vinegar, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Let the berries macerate for an hour. Add in the remaining ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside for 15-30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
3. For the Balsamic Reduction: Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to a small saucepan and cook to reduce for 3-5 minutes, or until thick and syrupy. Stir in crushed pink peppercorns. Set this aside until ready to use.
4. For the Multigrain Bread: Heat about 1 inch of olive oil in a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Fry the slices of multigrain bread in the oil until golden brown & crispy, about 2 minutes on each side.
5. Assembling the Bruschetta: Spread the fried bread with some of the whipped feta, and then top each piece of bread with a mound of the strawberry Bruschetta topping mixture. Garnish with a drizzle of balsamic reduction, crumbled feta, and fresh minced herbs. Serve immediately.