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Loaded bruschetta is an inspired twist on a classic appetizer. Tomato, bacon, avocado, mozzarella, and basil piled on top of crispy, crunchy bread.
If your neighborhood is anything like mine, you know the end of summer is near when the notice for the annual block party arrives. The neighborhood brings in lights and a sound system, a huge wood burning grill, and ice cold buckets of beer and wine pop up everywhere. It’s being going on every August for over 25 years and I doubt it will stop any time soon.
While it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to attend this year, if I do go, this would be the dish I would bring: Loaded Bruschetta.
The tomato basil base is the star of the show, but it wouldn’t be loaded if I didn’t throw in bacon, avocado, and mozzarella cheese – some of my all-time favorite foods. Pile it all on top of toasted bread with olive oil and try not to drool!
The dish comes together quickly and easily. It’s perfect for sharing with friends and tastes even better with a glass of crisp, dry sauvignon blanc.
As a wine drinker, having a great go-to summer wine is absolutely key. Sauvignon blanc is my choice for the summer because it’s crisp, refreshing, and served up cold to cool me down. When stocking up for a party, I look for something from a name I can trust that isn’t going to break the bank. It also has to taste good!
Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi fits that bill perfectly. It is perfect for sharing and makes almost any occasion more fun.
The Mondavi winery was established here in Napa 50 years ago. I’ve had the honor of visiting a couple of times and would highly recommend it if you ever plan a visit to the area! In the winery you can taste a wide variety of fine wines, but they just aren’t what I want for large gatherings.
However, it shows that the Mondavi brand has a high standard and if they put their name on it, the price will be fair for the quality you get.
The Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi line was launched 30 years ago to provide a good quality, easy drinking wine at a great price, and they definitely hit their target. Their sauvignon blanc is a great pairing for this loaded bruschetta, made only better by sharing it with friends.
The base for this bruschetta is a simple toasted bread round made from a bakery fresh baguette. Make them in advance if you don’t want to turn on your oven during the hottest part of the day. Once prepared, they will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for about 2 days. You can typically find baguettes in the bakery section of your local grocery.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the baguette into rounds about half an inch thick and place in an even layer on a baking sheet. Brush on olive oil with a pastry brush then sprinkle with a bit of kosher salt. Bake the bread for 10 minutes or until the edges turn golden.
If you aren’t making the bread in advance, start making the topping when the bread goes into the oven. Cook the bacon either on the stovetop or make oven bacon, cooking it on the rack above the bread.
Chop the tomato, then peel and chop the avocado the same size as the tomato. Note: the avocado is easier to peel when cut into halves or quarters. Julienne the basil. Place the tomato, avocado, and basil into a medium sized mixing bowl.
Fresh mozzarella comes in many sizes, from a large, tomato sized ball all the way down to little pearls. Often I can find the pearls and prefer them for this dish (less chopping!) but for this photoshoot I was only able to get the ciliegine mozzarella.
Each piece of ciliegine mozzarella is about the size of a cherry tomato and weighs about 1/3 of an ounce each. Twelve pieces provides the 4 ounces required. Chop into quarters to be the same size as the other ingredients. If you choose a larger ball of fresh mozzarella, chop it into roughly the same size as the avocado and tomato, then add it to the mixing bowl.
Chop the cooked and cooled bacon and add it to the mixing bowl as well. Stir everything together and add salt and pepper to taste. Start with 1/4 teaspoon of each, then adjusted based on your preference.
To serve, you have a couple of options, as the bread will get soggy if topped too far in advance.
If you are serving these immediately, go ahead and top each piece of toasted bread with one to two tablespoons of the topping.
If you are serving these at a larger party, I suggest displaying the bread and the topping separate, allowing people to assemble them as they eat them.
This loaded bruschetta is best enjoyed with friends and a glass of Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi Sauvignon Blanc. Good food and good wine are the perfect recipe for making great memories all year long. For more information about Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi and celebrating summer check out their Simple Entertaining Social Hub or follow them on Pinterest. While you are there, don’t forget to Pin this recipe for later!
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Loaded Bruschetta Recipe
- 1 baguette
- 2 - 3 TBSP olive oil
- 1/2 - 1 tsp salt
For the topping:
- 3 strips of thick cut bacon
- 1 large tomato, about 1 lb
- 1 medium avocado
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
- 6 - 8 leaves of fresh basil
For the bread:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the baguette into half inch thick rounds and place in an even layer on a baking sheet.
- Brush olive oil on top of each round, then sprinkle them with a small pinch of kosher salt.
- Bake the bread for 10 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden and the bread is lightly toasted.
For the topping:
- Cook the bacon, monitoring it while you chop the remaining ingredients, then let it cool and drain on paper towels.
- Chop the tomato into small chunks.
- Peel and chop the avocado the same size as the tomato.
- Julienne the basil.
- Chop the mozzarella into chunks the same size as the tomato and avocado chunks.
- Chop the bacon and add everything to a medium sized mixing bowl.
- Stir everything together and add salt and pepper to taste. Start with about 1/4 teaspoon of each, and adjusted from there.
- If serving immediately top each piece of toasted bread with one to two tablespoons of the topping.
- If serving at a large party or later, I suggest displaying the bread and the topping separate, allowing people to assemble them as they eat.