I know including fruit in savory recipes can be a contentious issue. Some people are dead set against it and passionately so. And you know, that’s their right. You can find disgust where ever you see fit – I’m totally fine with that. But I also have the right to completely and totally disagree with those people. I love fruit in savory things, from pineapple on my pizza to grapes in my chicken salad. And if that makes you wrinkle your nose or viciously question my taste, I’m cool with that because I don’t care. It just means more Sweet Cherry Bruschetta for me.
Now, I realize that the opening paragraph may have sounded a bit defensive. I often find the people who claim not to care about other’s opinions actually do care quite a bit. And perhaps that is true in my case. But I don’t care about the part you think. I genuinely do not care if people think fruit in savory things is gross. What I do care about is how much they want to convert me or even shame me for what my tastebuds find enjoyable. I don’t like telling people how to eat and I really don’t like being told what I should eat and how.
Food is one of life’s joys. I, of course, understand that we eat to stay alive but in this era of perceived abundance, I think it’s safe to say most people eat for pleasure. And what that pleasure tastes like to you is totally up to you. Food is so much more than layers of taste and texture. It’s emotional, nostalgic, and deeply personal. The food you love depends on your own personal and cultural context, not just your biology. So the idea that an individual could possibly tell another individual what to like and how best to consume it is practically impossible. You can make recommendations but you can’t call anyone right or wrong for liking or disliking something. Pineapple on pizza haters, I’m talking to you. Just cut us some slack, we can at least agree on pizza.
Today’s Sweet Cherry Bruschetta might be a stretch for some of you. But from where I’m sitting its total bliss. Picture this: classic bruschetta but with the added bonus of cherries – it delivers exactly what it promises. Yes, I’m not exactly reinventing the wheel with this one. And to tell you the truth, even adding cherries to this particular savory classic isn’t that jarring. I mean, tomatoes are fruits after all – so really it’s simply a fruit salad dressed in a balsamic vinaigrette. Nothing more, nothing less.
I often think of tomato season as being bruschetta season…and toasted tomato sandwich season, but that’s hard to write a blog post about. When tomatoes are at their peak, they are nothing short of spectacular. Sweet, juicy, and buttery but with taut skin – what could be better? Why would you introduce cookware to this pitch-perfect symphony? But since it’s still not entirely socially acceptable to simply serve a tomato with a knife and invite people to have at ‘er, we have bruschetta.
Now, to me and my North American brain, the quintessential bruschetta is a balanced cocktail of diced onion or shallot, garlic, tomato, basil, and a balsamic vinaigrette. I prefer mine with crushed red pepper flakes but I accept that they are not fundamental to a bruschetta’s success. With today’s Sweet Cherry Bruschetta I stayed true to that age-old cocktail and added fresh cherries to boot. That’s really it. So, if you hate the idea of adding cherries to bruschetta, you can simply omit them and have “normal” bruschetta. I promise I won’t be the least bit mad.
There is one particular area of this recipe where you can really experiment and that’s the bread. I used sourdough that I toasted in the oven with a whole whack of olive oil, but I think focaccia would be great, ciabatta could be transcendent, and even a boring French stick could sing in this context. So, if you don’t have sourdough on hand, all is not lost. Honestly, I don’t think pita bread would be inappropriate. It wouldn’t be traditional, of course, but when has this blog ever cared about that? This wackadoodle website’s culinary influences are more tangled and nonsensical than the mass of wires that live behind your tv.
So that’s everything you need to know about this Sweet Cherry Bruschetta. This recipe is beyond simple to make and way too easy to eat. In other words, this is summer dining at its best.
Sweet Cherry Bruschetta
- 2½ cups cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 ½ cups sweet cherries pitted and halved
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 shallot halved and sliced thin
- ¼ cup fresh basil chiffonade
- ¼ cup + 2 tbsp olive oil divided
- 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano shredded
- fresh ground pepper
- 6 thick slices sourdough bread
- Place the tomatoes, cherries, garlic, shallot, and basil in a large bowl and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk to combine a ¼ cup of the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, salt, and crushed red pepper flakes. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes and cherries and toss to coat. Stir in the cheese and pepper and cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. The longer you let it sit in the fridge the more developed the flavors will be.
- When you are ready to serve, preheat the oven to 400°F. Drizzle a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Using a pastry brush, spread the oil evenly across the baking sheet and lay the sourdough on top. Drizzle the sourdough with the remaining tablespoon of oil and sprinkle with salt. Transfer the bread to the oven and toast for 15-20 minutes, turning once halfway through.
- Place the golden sourdough toasts on a serving tray and spoon the cherry and tomato mixture on top. Serve immediately with fresh basil leaves for garnish.