Picnic Perfect

 


Here in Los Angeles, outdoor activities are pretty much year ‘round. The coldest it usually gets is a frigid 53 degrees (more or less) in the dead of winter. Needless to say, snow tires don’t sell very well out here. What do sell are tickets to outdoor concerts, plays and art walks. Evenings are often filled with the sound of old movies and the lilting sound of jazz and classical music. As a matter of fact, one of LA’s favorite picnic events are the concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. Many of the “box” seats have fold down tables that make picnicking very elegant and civilized. Translation-you don’t have to sit on the ground on an old bed sheet.
You still have to bring your own utensils along with your food, but I’ve always found eating with your hands to be the most fun. My friend, Cathy, agrees. Recently, she had the occasion to attend one of the Los Angeles Symphony’s concerts at the “Bowl.” She was all excited to hear them, and was equally excited to bring some of my recipes to picnic on while there. Okay, maybe she was a little more excited about the music, but still…

This one was evidently a favorite with her friends, so I’m going to share it with you now. These bruschetta are the perfect picnic food. They’re easily handled, the food doesn’t fall off because of the toasted cheese and the strawberries keep the flavor light and satisfying. Have them with a nice glass of rosé or Champagne!

Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Serves 4

Nutritional Facts:
Calories: 117          Sodium: 138mg          Total Fat: 6g          Total Carbohydrates: 10g       
Sat Fat: 4g             Trans Fat: 0g               Dietary Fiber: 2g
Protein: 6g             Sugars-4g                   Cholesterol-13mg

Ingredients:
1 whole grain baguette 8 –10” long
Olive oil spray
1 4oz goat cheese log, plain or herbed
2 cups strawberries, sliced
8 basil leaves, cleaned and dried
Fresh ground pepper

Heat broiler. Halve baguette crosswise, then lengthwise. Place on lined baking sheet, cut side up. Spray with olive oil. Broil on a lower rack for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Divide cheese into 4 pieces and spread on toast. Add basil slices and cover with strawberry slices. Broil on lower rack for 2 or 3 minutes, until the cheese and berries get soft. Remove from broiler and sprinkle with black pepper.

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