This little ritual has become a habit and I often drift off in the middle of my Big Stuff list. I sleep better, dream happier and wake with a much more positive attitude. And in times of crisis, this can be a life-saver.
One thing on my grateful list tonight will be the table of gorgeous, red, locally grown tomatoes outside our little, country grocery store. Protected from the chilly downpour that was making it feel more like late October than late August, these beauties screamed "Summer!" and I knew I had to grab a few. Inside the store, I added a still-warm, whole wheat baguette to my basket, and then a bunch of fresh, green basil and a round of fresh mozzarella. I checked out, dashed back to the car through the cold rain and headed home to make Baked Caprese Crostini for lunch - an ode to summer dish inspired by Giada DeLaurentis' Baked Caprese Salad.
Baked Caprese Crostini
Serves 4 to 6
1 baguette (I prefer whole wheat), sliced on an angle into 1/2-inch slices
Extra virgin olive oil
2 medium, fresh tomatoes, seeded and roughly diced
Good balsamic vinegar
1 8-ounce round of fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
1 bunch fresh basil, minced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Place the baguette slices on an ungreased cookie sheet and lightly brush the sliced bread with olive oil. Place in the oven and bake until lightly browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes.
- With a spoon, cover the top of each crostini with the chopped tomatoes. Season each with salt and freshly ground pepper, then drizzle with the balsamic vinegar.
- Top with a slice of mozzarella, then bake until cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. The idea is to melt the cheese, not cook the tomatoes.
- Place on a serving dish, sprinkle with the minced basil, salt and good grinding of pepper.