As we mentioned last week, Top Chef Home Edition is back! It's where we put your cooking skills to the test and see if you have what it takes to be a Top Chef. Throughout the summer in addition to challenging you, we're teaming up with your favorite food writers around the web and putting them to the test, too.
Our theme for June is fresh ingredients and we've asked April Anderson from Girl Gone Gourmet to take our Top Chef Home Edition Better Bruschetta challenge. Check out April's delicious take on this dish and then step up to the plate and show us your own take on this meal.
It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Top Chef, so when the folks at BravoTV.com asked me to help spread the word about Top Chef Home Edition it took all of a hot second to say "yes!" Here's the deal: Each week there are new challenges and the opportunity to share your dishes with your friends using #TopChefHome. One of this week's challenges is all about making a better bruschetta with fresh ingredients - want to join me?
When I agreed to participate I did so before learning about the challenge, so I spent a few panic-stricken days wondering if I would need liquid nitrogen, or a sous vide machine, or if I would be subjected to rigorous Bucose d'Or type skills tests. Would foams be required? Would I have to recreate Hung's famous quick-fire edible village scene made with items from the breakfast aisle?
Oh, the drama. It was so Top Chef.
Panic subsided when I learned the challenge: make a better bruschetta. Hah! I can do that!
Or could I? Doubt creeped in with the thought of turning a traditional bruschetta (a classic combination of fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and basil piled on toasted bread) into something new and unexpected. Oh, and share it all over social media. No pressure.
So I did what any Top Chef contestant would do - I grabbed a notebook, a cocktail, my thinking cap and stayed up until the wee hours planning my better bruschetta.
I realize, dear reader, I've already given it away and you're probably thinking "I know! You made a bruschetta with beets and blueberries! It's in the title, so get on with it!" So I'll spare you the play-by-play soul-searching extravaganza that was my bruschetta planning session and, instead, cut to the chase...
Why the heck did I use beets and blueberries?
First, despite 90 degree temperatures outside, I've been roasting a whole lot of vegetables lately so beets immediately came to mind. I love their vibrant color and earthy flavor, but what to pair with them? I wanted something subtly sweet and fresh and it didn't take long to get to the answer: blueberries. Blueberries make their way into all kinds of savory salads, so why not bruschetta? Isn't it just a small salad on a slice of crusty bread? After that the rest fell into place - olive oil and balsamic vinegar, crumbled feta cheese, and thinly sliced sweet basil.
Putting this all together is pretty straight-forward: roast the beets (you can do this step ahead and keep them in the fridge), toast the bread, and then just toss together the beets, blueberries, basil balsamic, and olive oil. Pile it all on the toasted bread along with a sprinkling of crumbled feta and a small drizzle of olive oil.
And there you have it: a plateful of colorful and delicious bites. The beets and blueberries are an unexpected pairing and taste wonderful together - I think the balsamic helps tie them together as they both go really well with the tangy sweet vinegar. Success!
So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to Top Chef Home Edition to get inspired and don't forget to tag your photos with #TopChefHome - I can't wait to see your creations!