A very warm welcome to our friend Victoria Hamilton. MUCH ADO ABOUT MUFFIN, the fourth book in her Merry Muffin Mystery series will be in bookstores tomorrow!
Don't miss her fun giveaway! To enter, see the instructions below.
I love growing herbs. I have, in the garden: variegated sage and regular sage, thyme, lemon thyme, lemon balm, summer savory, French tarragon, oregano and others. Lately I have moved to growing annual herbs in a pot. I have marjoram, rosemary (a tender perennial that doesn’t fare well this far north) and three types of basil: Sweet, Lemon and Thai in order from left to right in the picture.
However… recently I kinda lost sight of the rosemary in the center of the pot because the basil took over. I’ve never made pesto (tho’ I may try this year) so… what to do with all that luscious basil? Bruschetta is something many enjoy only in the restaurant as an appetizer, but I often make it, topped with cheese, for lunch, or a meal side dish.
Now, as to the title… well, I started seeing it long ago on menus and so pronounced it my own way, as bru-shetta, only to learn it should be pronounced bru-sketta. But it’s hard to break old habits, right? Ask me, the gal who still pronounces ‘mandarin’ with the emphasis on the middle syllable, man-DAR-in, because that’s how I thought it sounded.
Enjoy my bruschetta, delicious any way you say it!
Two or three tomatoes
Generous handful of fresh basil, whatever kind you have.
¼ cup finely diced sweet onion
2 – 3 garlic cloves
2 – 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 – 3 panini rolls (or whatever kind of roll or bun you like)
1 cup grated cheese – I used extra old cheddar, but use whatever you like!
*Some people use balsamic vinegar; I’m not a fan, but go ahead if you like it, a tablespoon or so!
Freshly grated sea salt and pepper.
Do this part a few hours before you plan to make the bruschetta:
1 – Chop tomato to a medium dice, discarding seeds and excess liquid. Throw in a bowl, and add: chopped or chiffonade of basil, finely chopped onion, chopped or grated garlic.
2 – Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar (if you’re using it) the fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste – not too much - and mix it all up.
3 – Set aside in a jar or covered bowl so the flavors marry. You can hold a ceremony if you like, but don’t expect the garlic to obey. It’s more strong-willed than that.
Just before meal:
4 – Split your rolls. (Don’t get confused and roll your splits). You can spread a good commercial garlic butter on the split rolls, or just brush olive oil and rub a garlic clove over it.
5 – Broil for a couple of minutes until the top is crusty.
6 – Take buns out of oven (you should never leave a bun in the oven too long!) and pile the bruschetta mix on – I use a slotted spoon so I don’t soak the buns with too much of the liquid – top with grated cheese, and broil again until bubbly and melted, or even until the cheese is browned a little on top.
This is a really versatile dish, as you can tell by my ingredients list, and easy to stretch. It can be an appetizer, but I call it lunch!
|Ready to go.|
|Lovely mix jar.|
|3 kinds of basil.|
About Much Ado About Muffin
In this fresh mystery from the national bestselling author of Death of an English Muffin, baker Merry Wynter comes to the aid of an innocent woman accused of murder.
When muffin baker Merry Wynter sees an innocent woman accused of murder, it’s dough or die...
Opera singer Roma Toscano may have a crippling case of stage fright, but she certainly is stirring up drama in Autumn Vale, New York, as she prepares for an upcoming performance at Merry’s Wynter Castle. With her flamboyant style and flirtatious personality, Roma attracts fans as well as critics, including the town’s postmistress—and Merry’s bitter foe—Minnie Urquhart.
But Roma and Minnie’s heated rivalry goes cold after Merry discovers Minnie dead at the post office. While every clue seems to be another ingredient in the investigation of Roma, Merry thinks the case is half-baked, and she’s eager to get her mitts on the real killer...
Victoria Hamilton is the national bestselling author of three bestselling series, the Vintage Kitchen Mysteries and Merry Muffin Mysteries as Victoria, and the Teapot Collector Mysteries as Amanda Cooper. She is also the bestselling author of Regency and historical romance as Donna Lea Simpson.
Victoria loves to cook and collects vintage kitchen paraphernalia, teacups and teapots, and almost anything that catches her fancy! She loves to read, especially mystery novels, and enjoys good tea and cheap wine, the company of friends, and has a newfound appreciation for opera. She enjoys crocheting and beading, but a good book can tempt her away from almost anything… except writing!
I’ll be giving away a pretty white and silver china teacup and saucer, and a very cool skull spoon, as well as a copy of Much Ado About Muffin and bookmark!
Open to US and Canadian addresses; include in your entry comment your email address and a name, please! Entries accepted until midnight, August 7th!