mediterranean bruschetta

i love bruschetta. LOVE. (yes, even though i am usually a tomato-hater. odd, isn’t it? )
and who doesn’t love a good, salty kalamata olive?
and possibly no (normal) human can turn down feta cheese.

i have this recipe that i jotted down years ago for mediterranean bruschetta (no clue where it came from). it involved canned tomatoes and a cup of mayonnaise. i so could NOT go there.
and it just didn’t sound that appetizing. but the name and most of the ingredients did.
i consider myself a big mediterranean food fan, so i figured i could tweak it a bit and make it awesome.

and i did, if i say so myself.
the first experience is the crunch of the bread, with it’s cheesy, garlicky flavor. then the topping floods your mouth with mediterranean flavors. it’s super fresh and light, then the saltiness of the feta and the kalamatas hits you. and the flavor in your mouth rounds out and finishes with the parsley.
quite likely one of the most perfect appetizers.
or snacks.
or dinners.
bruschetta for breakfast, anyone?

*recipe updated 7.10.13*

mediterranean bruschetta


3 tbsp finely chopped parsley

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped

4 large roma tomatoes, seeded & chopped (*see tip below)

1 tsp italian seasoning

1/4 tsp pepper

3 large garlic cloves, minced

1 skinny french or italian baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick

parmesan cheese, freshly shredded


1. in a medium-sized bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, feta, olive oil, oregano (or italian seasoning), pepper, and parsley. mix well. place in refrigerator to chill.

2. set the oven on broil.

3. place flatbread or baguette slices on a cookie sheet in a single layer. spread about 1/8 tsp of minced garlic on each slice and top with parmesan, about 1/2 tbsp or so. place under the broiler for about 1-2 minutes – watch them carefully – until the cheese is melted and the crusts of the bread are just starting to turn golden brown.

4. remove toasts from the oven and place on a serving platter. put bruschetta mixture into a serving bowl and serve alongside the toasts.

*tip on seeding the tomatoes:
use a grapefruit spoon! it makes it super easy – after you have cut the tomatoes in half, just scoop out all of the insides with the jagged spoon.

*note on ingredients:
if you are out of italian seasoning, you can sub dried oregano.

gwyneth’s B.L.A.T. sandwich

veggie B.L.A.T. sandwich

we all know gwyneth. and we all love gwyneth.
i especially love her – not only for the way she sings “forget you” in that episode of glee, but – for her love of food.

she makes this delightful sandwich called the BLAT, that she shared in her GOOP newsletter:
bacon, romaine lettuce, avocado & tomato.

veggie B.L.A.T. sandwich

1 tbsp olive oil

8 slices whole grain bread

1/2 cup mayonnaise

8 slices bacon (you could also use turkey bacon)

2 very ripe tomatoes, sliced

1 ripe avocado, sliced

romaine lettuce

salt & pepper


1. cook bacon according to instructions on package. spread each slice of bread with a tablespoon of mayonnaise, then sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. layer on top of 4 slices: bacon, tomato, avocado and lettuce. top with the remaining four slices.

cut each sandwich in half and serve.

speedy tomato soup

tomatoes and i don’t always have the best of relationships, i’d have to say.
BUT there are quite a few instances where i simply adore the red fruit (yes it is a fruit),
such as tacos, a B.L.A.T. sandwich, and a GOOD tomato soup. and this weather we have been having lately is making me excited for what is coming, like fall & chilly weather… sweaters… cozying up by our fire pit…
and enjoying warm, yummy soups.
i love this recipe mostly because it is so easy.
rarely do you find recipes that are ridiculously easy, yet really good; i’d-eat-this-several-times-a-week good.

speedy tomato soup
recipe by picky palate


1 10-ounce can petite diced tomatoes

1/4 cup finely chopped white onion

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt


1. place tomatoes, onions, cream, salt, pepper and garlic salt into a blender, blend until smooth, about 20 to 30 seconds.

2. pour into a medium saucepan over medium heat stirring until hot, about 5 minutes. serve with a hot, fresh grilled cheese sandwich.

photo via

lacey’s marinated cheese


marinated cheese | via she likes to eat
i make this appetizer for almost every potluck.
i made it for the little she’s first birthday party.
it is requested often throughout the year. and i swear i would make it for only myself for no other reason than to sit and eat it all in one sitting.
and i can only tout it that way because it is not my own recipe.
the credit belongs to my oldest and dearest friend, lacey.
we have been friends since we were 2 years old and lived across the street from each other.
she is a fantastic cook and i am always peeking in her kitchen for my next favorite recipe.

lacey’s marinated cheese


1 block cream cheese

1 block cheddar cheese

½ cup red wine vinegar

½ cup olive oil

1 tbsp italian seasoning

1 tsp sugar

2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped

¼ cup chopped green onions

3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped

1 large roma tomato (or about 6 grape tomatoes), seeded & finely chopped (don’t use canned tomatoes, trust me) – optional


1. in a bowl, combine the vinegar, EVOO, seasoning, sugar, basil, green onions & garlic.

2. slice up both cheeses and alternate them (cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cream cheese & so on) in two rows on a serving dish with sides at least 2 inches high.

3. pour vinegar & seasonings mixture over the cheeses and refrigerate for at least 3 and up to 8 hours.  every 30 minutes, take cheese out of the fridge and re-dredge the cheeses with the vinegar mixture in the bottom of the dish.

4. top with chopped tomatoes & serve with table water crackers.

(cook’s note: after your guests have polished off the cheese, save the marinade and use it the next day to marinate a chicken breast. or use it to dip italian bread in.)