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Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

With crunchy grilled bread, a tangy goat cheese spread and sweet strawberries, this easy strawberry bruschetta recipe is pretty much summer on a plate. A drizzle of honey balsamic glaze on top adds a delicious finishing touch!

Does it get any more gorgeous than these ruby red strawberry bruschette topped with fresh thyme? With crunchy grilled bread, a layer of creamy cheese, then a drizzle of honey-balsamic glaze on top, this simple appetizer idea is a delightful way to use one of summer’s most beloved berries.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of strawberry desserts. (As you will see in coming weeks!) But there’s something to be said for this recipe’s combo of sweet, tangy and crunchy. Make this strawberry bruschetta for a low-key summer hang out, a fancy dinner, or even an afternoon snack!

What is Bruschetta?

Bruschetta is an Italian recipe traditionally made with tomatoes and fresh basil mixed with olive oil, then served over grilled bread that has been rubbed with garlic. Often balsamic vinegar is drizzled on top. Bruschetta can be served as an appetizer or a snack and dates back to ancient Roman times. Back then, olive growers would take their olives to the market and offer buyers samples of the freshly pressed olive oil on a slice of toasted bread.

How To Pronounce Bruschetta

Bruschetta is pronounced broo-skeh-tuh. The name comes from the Latin word bruscare, which means “to toast.”

Want to refer to more than one bruschetta? It’s not bruschettas. The plural of bruchetta is bruchette!

Bread, goat cheese, vinegar and other ingredients for strawberry bruschetta

What Makes this Recipe Different?

There are a few ways in which this bruschetta recipe is different from the traditional take:

  • We’re using strawberries instead of tomatoes. The sweetness of the diced strawberries goes wonderfully with the tangy cheese and vinegar.
    • I was going to say something about how this isn’t such a strange idea because tomatoes, botanically speaking, are berries. But then that lead me down the rabbit hole of discovering that strawberries are actually pseudocarps, NOT berries! (What?!) Apparently botanists call strawberries “false fruits” because they are actually many tiny individual fruits embedded in one sweet receptacle. How’s that for your nerdy fix?
  • Adding a mixture of goat cheese and ricotta. I like to use a combination of these two cheeses so that the mixture is easier to spread.
  • Making a honey balsamic glaze. Instead of using plain balsamic vinegar (which is tasty on its own, don’t get me wrong) we’re going to make a simple glaze with balsamic vinegar and honey.
  • Using thyme instead of basil. You can use fresh basil instead if you prefer, but I find that a bit of fresh thyme compliments the other flavors better.

Ingredient Notes

Here’s a quick overview of the ingredients in this bruschetta, as well as substitution options. For specific amounts, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.

  • Balsamic vinegar – Don’t sub with another kind of vinegar.
  • Honey – You could also use maple syrup or agave in equal amounts.
  • Goat cheese – Let it come to room temperature so that it is easier to mix with the ricotta.
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh strawberries
  • Fresh herbs – I like thyme leaves, but you could also use basil leaves that are thinly sliced for a more traditional bruschetta flavor profile.
  • Bread – A French baguette or Italian bread works nicely!
  • Olive oil

Can I Use Tomatoes Instead?

Yes, if you prefer you can use tomatoes. Your bruschetta will be equally as tasty! I recommend sweet cherry tomatoes, especially Sun Gold tomatoes if you can find them.

How to Make Strawberry Bruschetta

Make a balsamic glaze. Combine the vinegar and honey in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until it has reduced by half, this usually takes about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Mixed strawberries in a bowl next to a bowl of goat cheese mix and balsamic glaze
The goat cheese mixture, chopped strawberries, balsamic glaze and honey – ready to go!

Make the goat cheese mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese and ricotta. Mix well, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Mix berries, herbs and glaze. In a medium bowl, mix the diced berries and fresh herbs together. Add half of the cooled balsamic reduction and a pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside.

Grill the bread. Drizzle your bread slices with olive oil and grill on high heat until light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. If you don’t have a grill, you can also place the bread slices on a baking sheet lined with foil and broil them for 2-3 minutes per side, until light golden and slightly crunchy.

Assemble the bruschetta. Spread the goat cheese mixture on the toasted bread slices. Top with the chopped berries. Drizzle the remaining balsamic reduction on top. Garnish with a bit of additional thyme, if desired.

Tips for Success

Here are a few simple tricks for the absolute best bruschetta!

  • Prep the glaze first. It needs time to cool before you mix it with the strawberries and drizzle it onto your assembled bruschette. Store extra glaze in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and use it on everything from avocado toast and deviled eggs to salads.
  • Grill the bread with olive oil. It is tempting to just toast the bread in the toaster oven (affiliate link), but topping them with olive oil and then grilling them adds incredible flavor and an irresistible crunch. If you don’t have a grill, you can also toast them in the oven with the olive oil. Don’t use plain bread without the olive oil though.
Strawberry bruschetta with a bite taken out, next to a Green Tea Shot
Strawberry Bruschetta served with a Green Tea Shot

What Goes with Bruschetta?

You can pair strawberry bruschetta with pretty much any kind of meal, though of course it will go particularly well with Italian dishes like pasta pesto alla genovese or sourdough pizza. This bruschetta also compliments recipes that highlight summer’s bounty, like this rainbow tomato galette.

At the height of summer, I love serving bruschetta with fried green tomatoes! Add a cold glass of hard cider on the side and I’m pretty much in heaven. Other summery drinks to consider would be a Green Tea Shot, Mango Lemonade, an Arnold Palmer or a John Daly drink.

FAQs

What bread is best for bruschetta?

I like to use Italian or French bread, but any kind of bread that is sturdy, slices well and will hold up to being drizzled with olive oil and grilled would work.

Is bruschetta always toasted?

Yes, the bread for bruschetta is always toasted. The name bruschetta comes from the Latin word “bruscare,” which means “to toast.”

Is bruschetta topping served hot or cold?

You don’t cook the topping for bruschetta, so it is served cold.

Strawberry bruschetta on a serving platter

How to Make It Ahead

If you want to make bruschetta ahead of time you can do so as follows:

  • Make the balsamic glaze and store it in a mason jar in the fridge. This can be done up to 2 weeks in advance.
  • Combine the ricotta and goat cheese for the cheese spread and store in an airtight container in the fridge. This can be done up to 2 days in advance.
  • Prepare the strawberry topping and store it in an airtight container in the fridge. This can be done the night before.

Then on the day of, toast your bread and assemble your bruschette. I don’t recommend grilling the bread beforehand.

Storing Extras for Later

You can store extra glaze in a mason jar in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Use it on all sorts of other foods, see the suggestions above in the Tips section.

The strawberry mixture and the cheese mixture can be store in the fridge in airtight containers for 2 days max.

Extra bread slices can be stored on the counter in an airtight container for up to 1 days and reheated in an oven preheated to 350F.

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Strawberry and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

Strawberry bruschetta on a plate
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With crunchy grilled bread, a tangy goat cheese spread and sweet strawberries, this easy appetizer idea is pretty much summer on a plate. A drizzle of honey balsamic glaze on top adds a delicious finishing touch!

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Assemble
  • Cuisine: Italian American

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3/4 cup goat cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh thyme or basil leaves, minced
  • 1 French baguette or Italian, sliced about 1/4” thick
  • 23 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Make a balsamic glaze. Combine the vinegar and honey in a small saucepan and heat over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until it has reduced by half, this usually takes about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Make the goat cheese mixture. In a medium bowl, combine the goat cheese and ricotta. Mix well, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Mix berries, herbs and glaze. In a medium bowl, mix the diced berries and fresh herbs together. Add half of the cooled balsamic reduction and a pinch of salt. Mix well and set aside.

Grill the bread. Drizzle your bread slices with olive oil and grill on high heat until light golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. If you don’t have a grill, you can also place the bread slices on a baking sheet lined with foil and broil them for 2-3 minutes per side, until light golden and slightly crunchy.

Assemble the bruschetta. Spread the goat cheese mixture on the toasted bread slices. Top with the chopped berries. Drizzle the remaining balsamic reduction on top. Garnish with a bit of additional thyme, if desired.

Keywords: bruschetta recipe, strawberry appetizers, summer appetizers

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