A lively twist on an old favorite, this may replace your tomato bruschetta stand-by. Serve these promptly to keep the crostini crisp. We demoed this at Brookside May 15 and at the US Botanic garden May 16, 2014. Adapted from Food 52.
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped or diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/3 C balsamic vinegar
2 T sugar
1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and chopped or diced
1 sprig fresh basil, leaves removed and sliced chiffonade style
pepper, to taste
1 fresh, crusty baguette, sliced and toasted
1/4 pound full-fat ricotta (optional)
Place tomatoes in a sieve or colander; sprinkle with salt. Let the tomatoes sit about a half-hour to release as much juice as possible. In a small pot, bring balsamic and sugar to a gentle boil. Immediately reduce to a simmer for about 10 minutes, until it gets syrupy. Immediately remove from heat and let it cool.
Rub a medium bowl with peeled and smashed garlic clove. Mince the clove and throw it in the bowl. Add strawberries, drained tomatoes and basil. Gently fold in cooled balsamic. Taste for seasoning, adding salt as needed. Lay your crostini across a plate. Pile the bruschetta on your toasted crostini, and top a good grind of pepper. If you’re feeling indulgent, first put a dollop of ricotta cheese on each crostini. Serve immediately.