Say summer and I think of travel! Even though we haven’t gone far this summer, I’ve so enjoyed seeing people’s travel posts again after the past two years of quarantine. They are bringing back wonderful memories of sweet places in the world I hope to get back to someday- like England, Italy and France, and the Netherlands- and others that are still on my bucket list!
Last Friday I met my ‘Weekend Meanderings’ pal Juliet for a working lunch up in adorable Danville and she made us reservations at the most authentic and charming restaurant for lunch, Locanda Ravello. They describe themselves as ‘a slice of the Amalfi Coast in the heart of Danville’. Are you already enchanted? I had the caprese salad and it came with heirloom tomatoes and a heavenly burrata topped with pesto. I don’t think I have enjoyed a meal so much ever and could not stop talking about it to my husband.
Then Saturday we went to the new Eataly Silicon Valley, a three story Italian food extravaganza which was mind blowing. Coincidentally at the same time, I’ve also been enjoying the fun, ‘How to be Italian,’ book that I wrote about on last weekend’s blog.
So when Annie asked me to join this group, you could say that Italy was top of mind. My first thought was how to recreate that fabulous lunch in an appetizer size?
For my mini version, simply slice a medium or smaller size baguette diagonally, rub each with the cut side of a garlic clove, layer in a baking tray, drizzle with a fair amount of olive oil, malden sea salt, and toss with your hands to coat the slices. Lay out flat and toast in the a 400 degree oven until slightly golden on edges, but still a bit chewy, about 8 minutes. The key is to take them out while they are a bit crunchy yet with a chewiness, not crisp hard.
When cooled, top each slice with a slice of tomato, (garden or farmer’s market variations are the best tasting), a slice of fresh mozzarella, and a small dollop of pesto. I used Trader Joe’s Kale, Cashew, Basil Vegan Pesto, which was a first and it’s pretty good. You could also make your own, or in a pinch just add a fresh basil leaf. I tucked basil leaves around the dish. To recreate the look from wonderful Locando Ravello, you could add green olives and arugula.
It would be beautiful on one of those hand-painted Italian platters. Since I don’t have that, I opted for this long oval Torino Platter I love from Hudson-Grace.
I just happened to take these out when Max finished work and Griffin’s friends came by. The feedback was positive, so that made me happy! Obviously the better your tomatoes are, so will these bites be. I have been loving the darker red/green Kumato tomatoes from Trader Joes and those seemed to make the best versions of the bites. Highly recommend them!
Some things you may need..
Now please go see what delicious appetizers my friends are sharing on these blogs…
Thanks for being here!
If you still have travel on the brain, you may enjoy this post with my travel essentials..This is one of my most read posts, A Guide to Traveling Abroad with Kids and my most popular post, What to Pack for Carmel and Monterey, that I update frequently.
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