Be it a simple plate of cheese and crackers, or an elaborate gourmet spread, sometimes there is nothing more perfect than wine and hors d'oeuvres! A snack for one, a feast for many, a welcoming gesture that has the power to set a room at ease, in a way no "meal" ever could. Many of my favorite social memories begin and end with wine and hors d'oeuvres. Then again, it is my firm opinion that there is nothing better than a nice spread of snackie treats! Maybe that is why I find the tradition of cocktail hour so appealing! Speaking of cocktail hour, here is a little treat that is a perfect complement to a nice glass of red wine. It is bruschetta basically, but boy is it tasty!
Start with a nice loaf of bread. (I used french bread topped with garlic and spices.)
Slice the bread and lay it on a cookie sheet.
In a bowl, mix olive oil and seasonings. (I used garlic, salt, pepper, oregano and basil.)
Brush olive oil mixture onto bread with a pastry brush.
Bake bread in oven at 265 degrees for about 30 mins. or so. (I like mine really crunchy, but if you prefer it more bread like, you are on your own.)
Meanwhile, you can prepare your tomato topping (or prepare it ahead of time and store it in a jar in the fridge, which is way more convenient).
The tomato topping is very basic. You can dice it all up by hand or throw it in a food processor.
At your discretion, add diced tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, onion, sugar, basil, salt and pepper. (They sell this in jars if you aren't into making it yourself.)
I like to heat the tomato mixture before topping my bread, but that one is up to you.
When the bread is sufficiently crunchy, remove it from the oven and transfer to a cool plate.
Spread each piece generously with goat cheese and top with the warm tomato mixture.
Pour a glass of wine and enjoy!
Untopped bread is good to use the next day too!