For the longest time, I thought bruschetta was limited to the popular (and ever-present during my childhood) version of crusty bread, tomatoes, basil, and maybe a little goat cheese. I was completely fine with this, as it was, and has remained, one of my very favorite foods. Then, a few years ago, I stumbled into what would become my favorite restaurant in Charleston with my good friend Kate.
Muse. A Mediterranean restaurant and wine bar in a gorgeous historic home, with fellow-Clemson-alumni-bartender who happened to do magic tricks. The food, the ambiance, the crazy wine selection, and the location... make this my own personal piece of heaven. I used to spend extended periods of time in Charleston for my old job (one of the few redeeming qualities, but one that I did not take lightly), so I made sure to visit many times just to prove my theory.
I promise this tangent is related to the post/recipe at hand. One constant on Muse's menu was their "bruschetta du jour." I ordered it almost every time I was there, and can say that each time it was more delicious and imaginative than the last. Any combination of seasonal vegetables, sharp/mild cheese, fresh herbs, and a killer sauce - they had it covered. It gave me a deeper appreciation for this humble appetizer, one that has remained with me and challenged me to come up with a more creative approach when making it.
This version was something I quickly threw together to serve alongside the lemon-herb hummus I made for a gathering with friends. It turned out very rustic and flavorful, and could be altered to anyone's palette. A great appetizer to share with girlfriends and wine, I think.
Roasted Mediterranean Bruschetta
- 1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and quartered
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, cut in half
- 5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 baguette, toasted (for serving)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a mixing bowl, stir together the first 5 ingredients. Drizzle with lemon juice, olive oil (just a few tablespoons), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Stir together to combine, and transfer to a small baking dish. Cook for 30 minutes, serve with toasted baguette.
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