Enjoying a river getaway during the sweltering months of summer is a great escape. Not only does it offer a way to take advantage of some rigorous summer activities, but also to just take it easy simply floating down the river on a raft or taking a quick dip in the cool water. But, whether you prefer to kayak down the river or playfully splash in the cool water, one can work up quite an appetite. That’s why it’s always important to be sure to have plenty of delicious, fresh snacks on hand that are easily transportable.
During our family’s annual vacation to the Russian River, we always gravitate toward the same items that the local farmers’ markets and artisan bakeries have to offer. During the hot months of summer, ample quantities of beautifully-colored heirloom tomatoes are readily available–tomatoes that are not only juicy and sweet, but also substantial enough to bite into like an apple. And that delicious Northern California bread! We always stop at a local bakery in Forestville on the way to our cottage that is perfectly rustic, where we pick up rolls, batards, and our favorite crusty baguettes. So to me, “River Food” means fresh food–a combination of the most divine ingredients perfectly packed into one delicious bite. The most appealing part is the simplicity of ingredients. Bruschetta is merely a combination of garlic, olive oil, basil, and diced tomatoes on bread. It couldn’t be easier. But there is something magical there. Maybe it’s the crunch of the toasted bread, the juice from the garlic, basil, and tomato, or the combination of sweet and salty that excites our taste buds.
When transporting the bruschetta ingredients for your river repast, I suggest putting the tomato mixture in a separate container and piling it on the bread just before you are ready to serve. So let’s take the plunge and have a bite. A last hurrah for summer!
- One French baguette-sliced
- 2 cups heirloom tomatoes-diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil plus more for bread preparation
- 3 cloves garlic-minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil-torn
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the diced tomatoes, one tablespoon olive oil, minced garlic, and basil. Let sit to marinate.
- Prepare the bread by heating 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Place 4 slices of bread in the hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat the process using the remaining baguette.
- To serve, spoon lots of the tomato mixture on top of the toasted bread. Make sure to pour the remaining juices over the bruschetta.