Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dine Fresh, Dine Local

Caprese bruschetta
Originally uploaded by gergistheword
It's the time of year when although we should be dining at restaurants (due to so many fresh ingredients being available), we are enjoying the garden's bounty at home. Our freezer is packed once again with tomatoes, beans, asparagus, summer squash, peas, and sweet corn. The canning jars are sparkling with red and yellow tomatoes, salsa, and dill beans. The beets are still waiting, and we're glad they are patient, as well as the carrots, butternut squash, and pie pumpkin.

Caprese Bruschetta has been the treat of the season at our house.
It's easy to make and it's tasty.

* 6 or 7 ripe heirloom tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
* 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
* 1 Tsp balsamic vinegar
* 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
* Fresh mozzarella, sliced
* 1 loaf Italian bread

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) While oven is preheating, dice the tomatoes, chiffonade the basil. Combine the tomatoes and basil in a bowl with olive oil and balasmic vinegar.
4) Slice the bread on a bias - about 1/2 inch thick slices. Spread them on a baking sheet and toast them in the oven (about 5 minutes).
5) Slice the fresh mozzarella.
6) Remove the bread from the oven.
7) Place a piece of fresh mozzarella on each slice of bread. Return bread to the oven for about 2 minutes (until cheese just starts to melt).
8) Remove from oven, top with basil and tomato mixture.
9) Crack some fresh black pepper over the top.
10) Eat

Once, we topped the bruschetta with some bacon we picked up at the Mill City Farmer's Market. We've added garlic to the tomato basil mixture, and once we even used the juice leftover from the tomato basil mixture as a sauce for some sliced Italian sausage from the co-op. We simply browned the sliced sausage, added the sauce, and allowed the sauce to reduce.

Still, if you can manage to get away from your own garden and kitchen, now is the perfect time of year to enjoy fresh, local foods, at your favorite restaurant, and the Dine Fresh, Dine Local event is a great way to sample the season.
Dine Fresh Dine Local is a special two-day culinary celebration of good local food served in St. Croix River Valley restaurants, cafes and delis. Fifteen (15) eateries in the Stillwater/Hudson area and seven (7) in the Taylors Falls/St. Croix Falls area and surrounding communities will each feature menu items using ingredients sourced from at least 3 different local & regional growers and processors. See the list of participating restaurants and profiles at

Dine Fresh Dine Local is co-sponsored by Buy Fresh Buy Local® St. Croix Valley and it’s host organization Land Stewardship Project, the River Market Community Co-op in Stillwater, What We Need is Here, the St. Croix Scenic Byway, the St. Croix Falls Buy Local Initiative and the Farm to Community Alliance.


Lindsey said...

Wow, thanks for the link! I just did a post on Local ideologies... nice to "meet" another Minnesotan! :)

Cheers! :)

Reetsyburger said...

Lindsey! Thanks for reading! From reading your blog, it sounds like we're two peas in a pod! Did you have a chance to check out MN Cooks at the state fair this year?