A colourful and delectable appetiser for a summer barbecue or dinner alfresco
Here’s a more savoury take with cherries and mild cheese. The ideal cheese is a fresh goat’s cheese such as Childwickbury or soft cow’s cheese such as William Heaps, both available from Neal’s Yard Dairy. Ricotta or mascarpone also work well as a foil for the sweet and tart poached cherries, decorated with thyme and toasted almonds—.
250g fresh cherries, pitted
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
A pinch of sea salt
16 thin slices of ciabatta
200g fresh goat’s cheese or other soft cheese
60g flaked almonds, toasted or whole almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
Fresh thyme sprigs
Pink pepper, for grinding
Place the cherries in a medium saucepan with the balsamic, honey and pinch of salt. Add a small splash of water to stop it sticking and bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce to a simmer for about 4 mins. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 200C. Line a baking tray and place the ciabatta slices on it. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake until golden, about 5-7 mins. Remove from the oven and cool.
Just before serving, assemble the bruschetta. Spread the cheese generously over the toasted ciabatta then spoon a little of the cherry mixture on top. Scatter with flaked almonds, thyme leaves, and finish with pink pepper and a light drizzle of olive oil.
Arrange on a platter and serve right away.
Recipe: Celia Brooks