End of Summer Recipes

Although we're planted solidly in the middle of fall here in Chicago, for the next couple of weeks I'll be posting "End of Summer Recipes". For me they are "end of summer" because they mark the last harvest from our porch garden. Our basil stuck it out as long as possible, but at last I had to trim him back and bring him inside for the winter. So what to do with the last of the summer's basil? Make bruschetta, of course. I used grape tomatoes here because I love their sweet flavor.

1 baguette, sliced into 1/2" thick rounds
1 pint grape tomatoes
3-4 sprigs fresh basil leaves, chopped
5 oz. semisoft goat cheese
1-2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tblsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, finely sliced
2 tblsp butter

Chop the grape tomatoes into quarters, then toss with olive oil and vinegar. Add chopped fresh basil and salt and pepper to taste. While the tomatoes are marinating, prepare garlic butter by sauteeing butter with sliced garlic over low heat in a shallow pan for 3-4 minutes. Remove garlic slices and brush the baguette rounds with garlic butter using a pastry brush. Spread each slice with goat cheese, then bake in an oven set to 350 degrees until the baguette just begins to turn golden. Remove from oven and top with the tomato mixture. Serve warm and enjoy with friends.

Farewell little garden!

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