My friend Roseann is one of the few, in my humble opinion, that I put in the category of a great cook. Growing up in an Italian family, Sundays were spent at Grandma’s house with all the relatives. Sunday was also the day to make homemade cavatelli with her grandmother and great aunts. Everyone had their job and the pasta was spread out on Grandma’s bed to dry. Grandma’s no longer around but Roe and the rest of the family still make pasta, simplifying a bit by using a machine for mixing and a kitchen counter for drying. And they even published an immense family cookbook, including the family’s history which is sold at a local hospital gift shop with all proceeds going to the hospital.
And when Roseann cooks, she cooks BIG-intimate dinner parties aren’t her thing…bring on the football team, the girls for bunko, a going away party – now we’re talking. She’s even started a group for some of the local seniors where she prepares lunch for 200 and doesn’t bat an eye.
When Roseann served this Strawberry Bruschetta recently, I loved it so much I told her I had to have the recipe. It’s the perfect dessert because everything can be prepared in advance, it’s fresh and light and you can vary the berries and use fresh mint instead of the basil (but I love the basil!). And you can serve it BIG…like for 200.
- 1 loaf of French bread cut into thin slices
- ½ c. butter, melted
- 7 T. sugar, divided
- 1 T. cinnamon
- 2 c. diced strawberries
- 1 T. balsamic vinegar
- 2 T. chopped basil
- 3 oz. mascarpone cheese
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 T. milk or cream
- Toast bread slices in oven until lightly browned on both sides.
- Mix melted butter with 3 T. sugar and 1 T. cinnamon in a small bowl.
- Brush butter mixture over one side of bread.
- In a bowl, gently combine strawberries, balsamic vinegar, 2 T. sugar and basil.
- In another bowl, mix mascarpone, 2 T. sugar, vanilla and milk until thick and creamy.
- Spoon strawberry mixture on top of bread slices.
- Put a dollop of mascarpone mix on top of strawberries.