I made my scallops and saffron sauce the other night to try out with the Santa Margherita Prosecco, so my mom and I came up with some easy appetizers to serve beforehand. I wanted to make some bruschetta with my mom’s garden tomatoes and basil. My parents had just been to a wedding where they had a bruschetta made with roasted eggplant and gorgonzola. To make that easier, my mom bought a garlic roasted eggplant spread from Trader Joe’s and some crumbled gorgonzola. I didn’t write down exact recipes for each, but here is a general idea of what we ended up doing:

Thinly slice a baguette on the bias, brush with olive oil, and season with a little bit of salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet and broil on high until golden brown on both sides (turning halfway through). When the bread is out of the oven, slice a clove of garlic in half and rub the raw garlic onto one side of the bread.

Tomato and Basil Topping
Quarter cherry tomatoes (or chop regular tomatoes), combine with some julienned basil, and drizzle with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Eggplant and Gorgonzola Topping
Spread the bread with the eggplant and garlic spread, top with a little bit of gorgonzola, and broil on high until the cheese is melted.


My mom also loves invent spreads. One my parents’ favorite restaurants, Hungry Mother, serves a great pimiento cheese spread with celery sticks. Here is my mom’s version of that recipe:

Pimiento Cheese Spread
4 oz. light cream cheese
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp. pimiento peppers (or piquillo peppers)
2 tbsp. light mayo
Dash of hot sauce
Pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp. sweet or hot pepper relish (my mom uses Howard’s brand)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until combined but still a little bit chunky. Garnish with some celery leaves.

She also made a quick olive spread with some cream cheese and nice garlic-lemon green olives. We put them on a platter with some celery sticks and crackers:

Everything was delicious and easy!

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