I wanted to share some of my favorite summer recipes with you, old & new!
Tomato & Goat Cheese Bruschetta
I haven't always been a fan of raw tomatoes. I often find them underripe, out of season, or just flavorless. That all changed when I discovered this preparation while working in an Italian restaurant in Connecticut. I've been obsessed with it ever since and find it perfect for entertaining. This is an oldie, but goodie and my favorite way to eat fresh tomatoes!
2 cups assorted fresh, ripe tomatoes
2-3 TBSP Extra Virgin olive oil
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar
1 TBSP fresh minced garlic
5 large leaves of fresh basil
plenty of salt and freshly cracked pepper
Ciabatta, or baguette
Goat Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, cooked down and reduced by half, let cool
Combine tomatoes with oil, vinegar, garlic, and seasonings. It's important to let these ingredients marinate together for at least 30 minutes at room temperature, longer if possible. When the tomatoes are ready, cut bread into small slices and toast in a 400° oven for 5 minutes, or until the is bread golden.
When the bread is toasted, spread the goat cheese on top. Arrange toasts on serving platter. Add the fresh chopped basil to tomato mixture and spoon on top of each piece of bread. This can get a bit messy because the tomatoes will release a lot of water, but don't let it go to waste! Spoon the liquid over tomatoes and use the excess for salad dressing! Before serving, sprinkle with more salt and pepper and drizzle with reduced balsamic. I also used figs on top of the goat cheese and finished those with the balsamic vinegar as well.
Next up is a new recipe for me. I wanted to make a cherry sauce to go with a pork tenderloin that I was going to serve. Never having made it before, I looked up a few recipes and got the general idea for sauces using cherries.
Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Sauce
1 Pork Tenderloin, I love & often use this marinade
1 1/2 cups cherries, cut in half and pitted
2 shallots, minced
3/4 cup port wine, or red wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP butter
Salt & Pepper
In a large sauté pan with oil, sear your pork tenderloin on all sides, then finish in a 425° oven for 10 minutes. Let rest. Meanwhile, use the same pan to make your sauce. You want to keep the integrity of the cherries so this will be a fairly quick sauce. Add more oil if needed, and start with shallots. Cook for 1 minute and add cherries. Deglaze with wine or port. Add stock and reduce by half. If you are using red wine instead of port, you may need to sweeten the sauce with sugar or honey, 1-2 TBSP should do. Finish the sauce with the balsamic, and stir in the cold butter. Season with salt and pepper and serve over pork slices. I have not perfected this recipe, so you may need to adjust according to taste and your liking!