When summer rolls around I try my hardest to utilize all of the freshest and ripest ingredients that the season has to offer while they are available. And two of my favorite ingredients to use are basil and tomatoes. There is nothing like a fresh and vine ripe tomato in the summer. In fact once our farmers market starts up I have a tomato salad every single day for lunch. Yes, every single day, thats no exaggeration. In fact our counters are currently lined with tomatoes ready to be eaten. You'd think by the looks and smell of things in my kitchen that we run a fruit stand right out of our house. My goal by eating tomatoes every single day is to eat so many during the summer months that I will be sick of them by the time the season is over and wont miss them. The problem is that I never get sick of them and the season still comes and goes leaving me wanting and waiting for more.
Until I can figure out how to harness the goodness of sweet ripe tomatoes all year long I will have to settle for gorging on them for a few months every year. My latest and greatest recipe using two of my favorite summer ingredients is my pesto shrimp bruschetta. I made it for dinner last night and as my husband took his last bite he said "You know what I hate about this bruschetta?" (I braced myself for a possible harsh critique) He continued "The thing I hate about this bruschetta is that there is never enough!" And that summed it up perfectly, because as soon as I had finished my last bite I knew exactly what he was talking about. My plate was empty and yet I was looking around as if someone was going to bring me another plate of this delicious shrimp bruschetta. Sadly a waiter did not magically appear with another serving, but I'll give you one guess what we are having again tonight for dinner?!
Pesto Shrimp Bruschetta
shrimp (I used 3 shrimp per bread slice)
zest of 1/2 of a lemon
2 garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 baguette of bread
1 large tomato
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
pesto, fresh or store bought
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Slice your bread, drizzle with olive oil and lightly salt each side, then place onto a baking sheet. Cook for between 10-15 minutes until golden brown on bottom side, then turn over to cook on opposite side for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
While bread is cooking you can start to prepare your shrimp and tomato mixture for your bruschetta. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a pan over medium high heat. Add your 2 chopped garlic cloves and sauté for about 1 minute. Add your shrimp and lemon zest and cook until shrimp are just pink and done. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Dice your tomato and place into a small bowl with your chopped garlic clove. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt to taste. Stir ingredients and let sit to marinate while you continue to prepare your bruschetta.
Once your bread is done, spread a thin layer of pesto on top of each slice, then place a nice helping of the tomato mixture over pesto and top with your cooked shrimp and sprinkle with freshly chopped basil. Enjoy, I know you will!