Cooking with Copy: A toast to toast

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Martha Stewart’s warm pear-raspberry bruschettaLauren Cohn & Caro Peguero

Martha Stewart’s warm pear-raspberry bruschetta

This week we were feeling a little lethargic. The ups and downs of winter-spring will do that to a person. It’s no surprise, then, that we decided to keep things simple in the Cooking with Copy kitchen. Thankfully, simple can also mean super delicious. Enter bread.

We’re really into bread. Seriously. In fact we recently took a trip to Whole Foods and spent a solid 20 minutes poking the fluffy brioche, sniffing rounds of fragrant chocolate-cherry sourdough, and inspecting what the label claimed was the “World’s Best Cinnamon Bread.”

Every time we venture to a grocery store, Paws n’ Go or Millbrook Market we’re pulled to the shelves of bread—Caro to the baguettes and Lauren to the pretzel rolls from Companion. Usually when we buy bread it is eaten out of the bag, on the spot, without embellishment. However, recognizing that you wouldn’t want to read an article solely about bread, we’ve decided to prepare some treats for you that are easy, delicious, sophisticated, and just as good enjoyed by yourself as they are shared with a group: tiny toasts with a variety of toppings!

One of the best things about bread is the sheer number of delicious things that can gracefully accompany it. With that in mind, we decided to tackle a variety of sweet and savory toast/topping combos for your munching pleasure. We tried a traditional tomato bruschetta atop garlic-rubbed toasts; a fancy pear, raspberry, and mascarpone toast; and, last but not least, a Nutella, strawberry, and cream cheese sweet toast.

For the toasts, we started with Companion demi baguettes (yes, the ones available both in the Village and on the South 40!) which we cut into small slices that spent a toasty 30 seconds per side in an oven set to broil.

A traditional cherry tomato bruschetta.Lauren Cohn & Caro Perguero

A traditional cherry tomato bruschetta.

For the traditional bruschetta, we started by rubbing the toasts with the flat side of a cut head of garlic and drizzling them with plenty of olive oil and proceeded to follow what might be the simplest recipe ever, located at The Daily Meal. It calls for a box of cherry tomatoes, halved, some fresh rosemary (Dried is fine, but use half the amount!) a clove of pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil. All these things are combined and scooped onto the bread. So easy, and so good! The salt and oil allow the tomatoes to be perfect, not too sweet or acidic. These savory toasts are perfect for lunch or as an hors d’oeuvre.

With one toast under our belts, we felt ready to try something more gourmet. We settled upon a toast topped with pear, raspberry, and mascarpone, presented by the ever-wonderful Martha Stewart, and boy are we glad we did. This topping involves cooking juicy pear wedges in a cinnamon caramel sauce…if you’re not already walking to the kitchen, we don’t know what will convince you. Spread some mascarpone on a slice of toast, scoop some caramelized pears onto it, and top with fresh raspberries. The warm/cold and sweet/tart combination of the pears and raspberries is an irresistible winner. Spoon some leftover caramel sauce onto the toasts for an extra treat. Alternatively, eat the leftover caramel right out of the pan. We won’t tell. A fair warning, though: It will be scalding.

Strawberry and Nutella bruschetta.Lauren Cohn & Caro Peguero | Student Life

Strawberry and Nutella bruschetta.

And last, but most definitely not least, we tried a toast that, though mind-blowingly simple, will without a doubt triple your popularity. We took our toasted bread slices, spread them with a bit of cream cheese followed by some Nutella, and sealed the deal with a layer of thin strawberry slices. The unapologetically sweet topping gets an unexpected but delicious flavor twist from the tang of the sourdough bread—the combination is truly addictive. As delectable as these toasts are, however, don’t doubt that the best part of this is that you end up with half a jar of Nutella to yourself. Enjoy!