I am not sure why but today I just wished that I received an envelope with a postal stamp on it, the back of which I would tear open to find a hand written letter from someone I care about or someone who cares about me.
Probably the thought of receiving a letter came when I was thinking whether I am too late to write a letter to my brother for rakhi this year. Rakhi or Rakshabandhan is a festival in India which celebrates the relationship between brothers and sisters. Sisters tie a rakhi ( a sacred thread) on their brothers’ wrists and in return the brother vows to protect her. In modern times, the brother is supposed to give a gift in kind or in cash as well, which kind of works out pretty well for the sister :).
The first year after marriage I remember I sent my brother a letter with a hand made rakhi since I could not find any actual rakhi where I stayed. After that I got lazy and the last two rakhshabandhans I have sent him a rakhi using those online rakhi delivery services, only because they are so convenient and staying abroad I never remember in time to post a letter with a rakhi in it. So instead of a letter, its just a small message on a tiny card (that too typed by the online service, not handwritten) for my brother. In return he gives me a nice gift when I meet him in India, mostly chosen by my sister-in-law.
To be fair, I have no right to complain I don’t receive any letters any more, because I do not send them either.
Not that letters has anything to do with today’s post. But it was a thought that was on my mind today, so thought would share and probably I am hoping somebody from my friends and family reads this and sends me a letter. You will make me a very happy person if you do that. #justsaying
Anywho. To today’s post.
Whenever V and I go to Phoenix, one of my favorite places to eat (and drink) is Four Peaks. I love their food, and their ale and the whole atmosphere that comes along with the food and drinks. Their appetizers are so good that you really can just feast on those and the drinks and call it a night.
I love, absolutely love their fries and their hummus and the bruschetta that they serve. Their Bruschetta has fresh goat cheese in it and since I love goat cheese anything it’s no surprise I am in love with their Bruschetta as well. I mean I love goat cheese so much that if their is goat cheese in the refrigerator, V never gets to taste it because when he is away at work, I have already finished it taking bite after bite with my spoon. I like it plain or drizzled with a little honey or on top of a pear drizzled with honey or ever since I had it in Four Peaks with my bruschetta.
Unlike most bruschetta recipes that use baguette, Four Peaks use their own house made focaccia bread for the bruschetta. That is what makes their bruschetta even more special.
In my last post I shared a recipe for a very delicious homemade focaccia bread (with a video tutorial), so it is only logical to follow it with a recipe for bruschetta using Focaccia bread.
Since photographing this recipe was a last minute decision before leaving for Canada, the photographs don’t show the goat cheese or fresh basil (since I did not have it on hand, forgive me for that please) but believe me those are the star of the dish. If you like (or like me LOVE) goat cheese, then please do not skimp on it. But if you are not a fan,
then you are not my friend you can substitute it with fresh mozzarella cheese. If you must, that is.
I adapted this recipe from the copycat Cheesecake Factory Bruschetta recipe in Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipe Cookbook. I did make a few changes to incorporate Four Peaks’ variations- one of which was adding the goat cheese (I know I mentioned this before, but I do love Goat cheese). The balsamic vinegar gives the topping a little bite. You can substitute with dried basil but it is best with fresh.
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- ¼ tsp salt
- dash ground pepper
- 1½ cups chopped roma tomatoes 6 to 8 tomatoes
- 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 2 tbsp diced red onion
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- Fresh goat cheese or fresh mozzarella (as much or as little as you like)
- parsley sprigs
- 1 17 by 12 inch loaf of focaccia or 2 loaves of french baguette
- Combine tomatoes, red onion, garlic and basil in a medium bowl.
- Add ½ tbsp oil, vinegar salt and pepper and mix well.
- Cover bowl and let it sit in refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
- Add goat cheese just before serving. The fresher the better
- Brush surface of focaccia with garlic salt and oil and broil slice of focaccia in oven for 1½ to 2 minutes per side or until surface turns brown.
- Arrange bread like a star and pour mixture in centre. Serve and enjoy with a glass of beer.