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tart cherry bruschetta

This post was created in partnership with Montmorency Tart Cherries. All opinions are our own.

It’s official. Summer has finally decided to make her grand appearance in Los Angeles. We are not complaining that she hit the snooze button through the entire month of June, leaving us with thirty days of grey clouds and cool breezes. But July is a different story. Let’s just say that the high temperature today starts with the number 9 and is getting dreadfully close to a 1. For this reason, we have decided to never leave our house again and have found clever ways to keep us from melting. We’ve also been testing new recipes that we can’t wait to share with you. Since the beginning of COVID, grocery shopping has become more challenging, so we are making sure our recipes are simple and practical, using easy-to-find ingredients that you may have in your kitchen already. Enter this delightful new appetizer. Introducing our Tart Cherry Bruschetta.

Bruschetta has never tasted bettah. This year, we partnered with Montmorency Tart Cherries, and they asked us to create something simple and fun for summertime at-home entertaining using this ruby-red U.S.-grown superfruit. Dried tart cherries are available year-round, and we had the idea to take a traditional Italian starter dish and transform it into the appetizer of your dreams. In this easy recipe, warm slices of crusty baguette are topped with a smooth tart cherry spread. Sprinkled with creamy goat cheese, toasted walnuts, a drizzle of olive oil, fresh basil, and a pinch of flaky sea salt—Tart Cherry Bruschetta is something you will never forgettah.

This gourmet hors d’oeuvre comes together in minutes. You simply roast some walnuts, warm up slices of your favorite baguette, and let the assembly party begin—just try not to eat the entire platter before your friends arrive. If it’s too tempting and you think that your lack of self-control may be an issue, you might consider doubling the recipe juuust in case. They’re colorful, delicious, and the tart cherry spread sends these stellar slices to another solar system. Celebrate the summer outdoors by serving this at your next social distancing hangout—or just make it for yourself and transform your next movie night into a Tart Cherry Bruschetta bash.

Tart Cherry Bruschetta
Makes 20 to 30 slices

1 cup (150 g) dried Montmorency tart cherries
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup (200 g) walnuts
1 baguette
Extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
4 ounces (113 g) goat cheese, crumbled
4 to 6 large basil leaves, sliced thinly
Flaky sea salt, for garnish

First, make the tart cherry purée. Place the dried Montmorency tart cherries in a food processor, and pulse a few times to break them up. Then, with the machine running, add the water in a slow stream. Continue to process until the cherries form a smooth paste, stopping to scrape down the sides as needed and adding more water if necessary. Transfer the paste to a small bowl and set aside.

Next, toast the walnuts. Place the walnuts in a cool dry skillet, and set the skillet over medium-low heat. Cook until the walnuts are golden brown and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often to prevent scorching. Transfer to a heatproof plate to prevent overcooking, and let cool for a few minutes in the fridge or at room temperature until cool enough to handle. Then chop the walnuts and set aside.

Next, make the slices of toast. Cut the baguette into your desired number of slices, each one about 1/2-inch thick. Drizzle or brush each slice on both sides lightly with olive oil. Place a skillet over medium heat (you can re-use the same skillet, if desired). When hot, place baguette slices in the pan in a single layer—you may need to make several rounds if the pan is small. Cook until lightly golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook until the second side is also toasty and golden. Remove from the pan and repeat with any remaining slices.

To assemble, spread a layer of tart cherry purée over a warm baguette slice. Top with crumbled goat cheese, a sprinkle of toasted walnuts, sliced fresh basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil, and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Repeat with the remaining slices, serve, and enjoy!