I love so many things in the photo above, I really don’t even know where to start. Actually, it’s Monday so let’s start by grabbing coffee (chai for me) and settling in for a delicious journey involving fluffy whipped cream cheese + feta with a spicy kick of jalapeño spread onto baguette slices delightfully toasted and topped with a Greek salad medley.
Phew that was a serious run on sentence but sorry I’m not sorry because this Mediterranean bruschetta recipe is the best thing I’ve eaten in awhile. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Spoiler alert: There’s wine at the end.
This whole adventure started on Saturday morning in Eastern Market when I spied with my little eye the most perfect heirloom tomatoes…
Some people impulse-buy chips, gum or wine (I see you, Trader Joe’s with your clever store arrangement) and I impulse-buy heirloom tomatoes.
Let’s just roll with it.
So I got it in my head that I needed to use this heirloom tomatoes to create a meal to end all meals but there was just one problem.
I really didn’t want to use my oven.
Remember in elementary school right before summer vacation when it’d get unbearably hot so our teachers let us fold construction paper into fans to beat the heat? Let’s be real, those paper fans didn’t really do much to cool you down but it made you feel better.
That’s how I feel about using my oven when it’s warm weather. I feel like it’ll turn my apartment into a sauna. When the temperatures rise, my oven goes on a summer vacation.
Bruschetta it is! But I couldn’t stop there, I had to give it a twist.
Greek salad is a personal favorite because between the sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers and briny kalamata olives, it just might be the perfect meal.
So let’s up the ante and turn a favorite salad into bruschetta because really, what salad really needs is more bread. And the world needs an excuse to eat a block of cream cheese that’s been whipped with crumbled feta.
I didn’t eat an entire block of cream cheese…
Okay, I mighta consumed a fair amount of cream cheese during this whole process. You can’t fight City Hall, I’m just one girl!!!
Now I’m thinking about eating more of the whipped feta straight from the bowl with a spoon so I need a distraction. Like, you know, finally sharing the Mediterranean bruschetta recipe.
Once you chop up your tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, basil and shallots, arrange them according to ROYGBIV. It’s a non-negotiable step in the bruschetta process. Then let the Greek salad medley hang out with a red wine vinaigrette for a bit while we whip up the feta.
Okay, remember when I said I wouldn’t turn on the oven? For this part, I kinda had to but for jalapeños, gotta do what you gotta do.
To roast a jalapeño, skewer it with a kebab stick and hold it over the stovetop at medium-low heat for about 3 minutes per side or until the skin chars. Let cool and then mince, removing the seeds.
In a mixer, whip a block of cream cheese for about 2 minutes and then add crumbled feta. Finally, toss in the minced jalapeño and continue mixing until combined. And then try not to eat it out of the bowl with a spoon. Better yet, taste test the whipped feta with the end piece from the baguette.
Which I may or may not have done.
Speaking of bread, it’s finally time to bring out the baguette!
Doesn’t it kinda look like it’s wearing a cape here?
Super Carb to the rescue!
Slice up the baguette and heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Place the bread slices but don’t overcrowd the skillet. Remove once both sides of the baguette slice are golden brown and appear to be heaven on earth.
Finally, my gushing and rambling all boil down to this: Take a crunchy baguette slice, add a healthy schmear of whipped jalapeño feta and top with a colorful Greek salad minus the lettuce. Add a glass of rosé and you are in business!! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, it’s better than Cats.
Make the salad and whipped feta ahead of time and you have a light, refreshing appetizer or dinner ready in no time. I know it sounds a bit tedious but really, when it all comes together, it’s worth the little bit of elbow grease. A billion times over.
And that’s no exaggeration.
Greek Salad Ingredients
1 minced heirloom tomato
1 minced red tomato
1 sliced cucumber (I used a small Persian cucumber from Trader Joe’s)
1 handful of kalamata olives (sliced in half)
1 sliced shallot
5 minced basil leaves
Combine ingredients in a bowl and toss with a red wine vinaigrette. Let sit in the fridge until ready to be served.
Whipped Jalapeño Feta Ingredients
1 block cream cheese
6-8 ounces of crumbled feta
Using a skewer, pierce the jalapeño and hold over the stovetop at medium heat until both sides are charred (approx. 3 minutes per side). Place charred jalapeños to the side.
In a mixer, whip the cream cheese for about 2 minutes and then add in the crumbled feta.
Mince the cooled jalapeños + remove the seeds. Add into the mixer and continue mixing to combine.
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