I’ve had these gorgeous multicolored cherry tomatoes sitting on my kitchen counter just staring at me all week. I finally knew what I wanted to do with them-Bruschetta! But I didn’t want to make the plain old restaurant style Bruschetta. I’ve wanted to make something to show off the gorgeous colors of the tomatoes. Puttanesca Bruschetta does just that!
Puttanesca Bruschetta, now if that isn’t a mouthful, I don’t know what is.
But it is a mouthful of deliciousness. Truly.
Read further for the recipe for this amazing appetizer and an ode to one of my oldest friends!
Thank goodness we were friends before iPhone cameras and Facebook…right?
Flashback to 15 years ago. My first “Puttanesca” was a pasta I had ordered at La Grolla, a fabulous neighborhood restaurant in St. Paul. I had gone with a bestie from high school (here’s looking at you Molly!) and was looking for a light and flavorful pasta. Or at least something that would soak up the wine…tomato, tom-ah-to!
Molly is one of those friends who will always be with you for the ride. Right beside you as you’re trying to find yourself, ready to pick you up when you try on that persona that does not fit. She will cheer you up when you’re feeling down, and celebrate your biggest accomplishments. Molly is the friend that I hope desperately that my daughter has made with her high school friend group. The kind of friend that lets you know you are never alone. And the perfect friend to eat with!
Pasta, wine, dessert, conversation, reminiscing. There is nothing like dinners with people that have known you since your childhood. Besties make me brave. Brave enough to sing that song at the top of my lungs even if I didn’t know all of the words. Brave enough to flirt with that boy that ended up taking me to Prom and becoming my “first love”. Brave enough to fall in love with the man who would become my husband. Brave enough to order that Puttanesca pasta I had never heard of. Like most things Molly made me brave enough to try, it turned out to be one of my favorite things. EVER.
Molly has a long list of other things she has made me brave enough to do, but here’s the other amazing thing about besties…they are discreet…thank goodness.
Sweet tomatoes. Salty capers. Kalamata olives. Oh yes!
So back to the tomatoes staring at me. I wanted to show off the color, but I also wanted to highlight the sweet taste, intensified by roasting them.
I wanted to do something simple, after all I was enjoying an adult weekend away with no kids. You heard that right…a weekend with NO kids!! I could use any flavors I wanted…grown up flavors. Ya-hoo!
A quick spin in the food processor made a delicious spread out of feta, cream cheese and kalamata olives. The briny kalamata olive spread layered perfectly over a toasted baguette. Beautifully finished with sweet roasted tomatoes drizzled over the creamy olive spread, dotted with capers. Yep, this is the one you can share with your besties.
And if you don’t have any beautiful multicolored tomatoes, don’t worry, this kalamata olive spread is pretty darn delicious on it’s own.
So now, gather your besties. The ones who’ve known you forever, or the ones who you’ve just met and are building a foundation with. The ones who you know always have your back. Whip up this Puttanesca Bruschetta and open a bottle of wine.
Laugh like your night depends on it. It’ll do your soul good.
- 1 baguette, sliced
- 8 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and diced
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1 bottle capers, drained
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spread tomatoes over a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until wrinkled and starting to pop.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
- Place sliced bread in a single layer on baking sheet
- Bake for 7-10 minutes until slightly crusty and browned.
- While bread is browning, place feta cheese and Neufchatel cheese into the bowl of a food processor.
- Process for 2 minutes or until fully incorporated.
- Add kalamata olives and pulse several times until combined.
- Remove kalamata spread to a bowl.
- Spread kalamata spread onto a slice of the crusty baguette.
- Spoon roasted tomatoes over the kalamata spread.
- Sprinkle with capers.
- Serve and enjoy!