peach bruschetta with goat cheese, basil & infused honey

We catered a wedding last Saturday and it was Brian’s birthday. All day I felt like a heel for booking a wedding on his birthday. For the record, I did ask him beforehand, and did get the a-ok, but of course, it was a year ago, and I think he forgot, and all day I felt like I was in the doghouse.

And then of course, all sorts of crazy things happened, which, I took as my punishment from the universe. We had a huge dust storm. The strong winds came and blew trees down, which knocked down power lines, which started a fire, which shut down the power to the wedding venue. Basically all hell broke loose.

The meal, thankfully, went surprisingly well thanks to the many skillful hands who I’m so blessed to work with each week.  But just as we were pulling out to leave, in our brand new catering van, I backed into a parked car. I was backing out so slowly and carefully, I didn’t even feel that I was gently pushing in the other car’s door with my bumper. By the time I realized, the damage was already done.

Brian, frustrated with my driving, insisted on taking the wheel, then proceeded to hit another parked car with our brand new catering van. Two accidents in 15 minutes. It was quite comical once the shock of it wore off. I couldn’t help thinking that if Brian hadn’t insisted on driving, I would have probably hit that car too, and so, in a way I was grateful that he saved me from getting in two wrecks in one day, the smallest silver lining possible.  On the drive home, I contemplated the hilarity of it all. How, no matter how prepared you can be, how well and thought out the plan, how perfectly organized, orchestrated, or well-intentioned– life has a way of throwing everything out the window.

Especially at weddings. What sticks with me most this morning as I go back over that night, was the incredible moon, so huge and still and quiet on that especially silent drive home. And the mother of the bride, beautifully smiling in the face of all that chaos, gracefully taking it all in stride, with this quiet knowing that….sometimes, this is just how life is.
This is one of the appetizers we served at the wedding, a simple Peach Bruschetta with Goat Cheese, basil and a rosemary infused honey.  And the secret to making these delicious bites, is without a doubt,  the quality of the peaches.

These glorious peaches are grown here locally in the Inland Northwest, from Cliffside Orchard, and I would even dare to say, they are hands-down the best peaches I have ever tasted. So remember to use a juicy, perfectly ripe peach for this recipe, or it just won’t be as good. Cliffside will probably only have peaches for a couple more weeks, if that, and are available at the Spokane Farmers Market, Wednesdays and Saturdays, and in CDA and Sandpoint, ID on market days. Make sure to pick some up –you are in for a treat if you’ve never had them.

Mix chèvre with a little warmed cream cheese, to give it a creamy whipped texture. Add a little chopped basil to the cheese. Spread on toasted slices of baguette.
Top with a slice of peach, basil ribbons and a generous drizzle of honey and cracked pepper. That’s it, pretty simple right?
ingredients :
  • 1 baguette, sliced at a diagonal into ½ inch thick slices
  • Olive oil for brushing bruschetta
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 3 ripe peaches- sliced into wedges
  • 10-15 basil leaves – cut into ribbons
  • honey ( to infuse, see note)
instructions :
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Slice baguette into ½ inch slices at a diagonal. Brush both sides with olive oil and place on a sheet pan in a 400 F oven for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Or alternately, grill on a bbq. Set aside.
  3. Place cream cheese and goat cheese in a bowl and either warm in a microwave until just barley soft enough to combine easily with a fork. (I place the bowl in my toaster oven on low). Mix with a fork until smooth. Set aside.
  4. Assemble: Spread a little goat cheese mixture on each bruschetta and top with a peach wedge. Garnish with a few basil ribbons, then drizzle with honey, and sprinkle with cracked pepper.
  5. It’s really nice to serve when the goat cheese is still a touch warm.
  6. Serve on a white platter, or a rustic cutting board.
  7. Note: To infuse honey, place a cup or so of honey in a small pot on the stove, add a few sprigs of rosemary ( or thyme, sage, or lavender) and warm on medium heat. Once it comes to a gentle simmer, add a couple teaspoons of water, gently stir, turn heat off and let the herbs marinate in the honey, at room temp for a few hours, or overnight. Place in a squeezy bottle. Once cooled, if honey seems to thick, rewarm and stir in little more water.