Bouquets and Back-to-School Bruschetta

Despite having hands crippled by a half-hour of repeated middle-school-locker-opening (and the 6th grader only managed to get the thing opened a handful of times), I sit faithfully at my keyboard to bring you good news.

Firstly, congratulations. The kids are back in school and you deserve a bouquet:


(Gorgeous dahlias at Saturday's Market)

If you, like me, had one complaining of headaches and stomachaches that were really just nerves, take a second bouquet:

No idea what these are (!) but saw them Saturday, too

Secondly, in the Good News department--school may be in, but we have more summer to enjoy! The Market is overwhelmed by beautiful, vine-ripened tomatoes, and, if you're looking for an appetizer or even light meal that will wow everyone, it's time to make Tomato-Basil Bruschetta.

Everything you need (besides olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper) you can get at this Thursday's or this Saturday's Market. So that you can properly announce it to your family, just a quick note that it's pronounced "Bruce-sketta." Hard "ch," like in "chianti." Never mind about those ridiculous "Freschetta"-brand pizzas that are leading millions of Americans astray in their Italian pronunciation!

Tomato-Basil Bruschetta

Chop up 6 medium-sized tomatoes

I know this is seven, but some were small

Then combine:
2 cloves of garlic, minced

3 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp slivered fresh basil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly-ground pepper

Add the tomatoes. Stir, and let sit.

Slice up however much of a baguette you can fit on a cookie sheet:

Toast under the broiler until the tops are browned. You may need to remove toasts that get too brown if your oven, like mine, broils unevenly.
Rub the toasts with whole garlic cloves, peeled and cut in halves around the waist.

Right before serving, top with fresh tomato mixture.

We plan on having this again soon, since everyone--even the locker-impaired 6th-grade boy--enjoyed them! So delicious and couldn't be easier!

See you at the Market. We've been so spoiled this year. Cherries might be over, but the berries keep on coming, along with peaches and nectarines. Even the first apples, pears, and Asian pears of fall are making an appearance! Fruit crossover season is as good as it gets--don't miss a minute of it.