SUMMER TOAST SIX WAYS

Shout-out to my mom who was making gourmet toast long before the hipsters. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s made a resurgence along with high-waisted shorts, Pokémon, and the Clintons.

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What’s been met with serious fanfare was a common occurrence in our little house on Avenue C. Homemade whole wheat bread, buttered and toasted, with a layer of sunflower seed butter, sliced bananas, and honeythat was Tuesday.

Actually, come to think of it, not only did my mom make her own bread, but she ground her own wheatin the garage! Yes, you read that correctly. My mom used to grind wheat into flour in the garage. Take that, hipsters.

So, in honor of my mom, the end of summer, and toast lovers everywhere, I’m making cheesy Summer Toast 6 Ways. Enjoy!

First, let’s talk toast. Start with a good bread and be sure to slice it extra thick! Brush both sides with olive oil and broil on low for 45-60 seconds or until a dark, golden brown.

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Now, it’s time for the toppings. I made six different toasts featuring three Castello cheeses and some of my favorite summer produce.  

Toast 1: 

Castello Extra Creamy Danish Blue, blueberries, toasted walnuts, clover honey, and fresh thyme.

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Toasted Walnuts: To toast the walnuts, Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes, tossing occasionally to ensure even cooking.

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Toast 2:

Castello Extra Creamy Danish Blue, fresh strawberries, plumped raisins and golden raisins, toasted pine nuts, balsamic reduction, and fresh mint.

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Plumped Raisins: To plump the raisins, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let sit for 25-30 minutes. Thoroughly drain over a sieve.

Toasted Pine Nuts: To toast the pine nuts, put them in a dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown.

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Balsamic Reduction: In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of your favorite balsamic vinegar to a boil. Once the vinegar is boiling, bring down the heat and allow to simmer while stirring frequently. Continue to simmer until the vinegar has reduced by at least half (for a thinner reduction) or more (for a more syrupy consistency).

I paired these two toasts with Napa Cellars Zinfandel. Its bright aromas of red currant, raspberry, and cherries was a wonderful addition to the Extra Creamy Danish Blue.

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Toast 3:

Castello Double Créme White, prosciutto, seedless red grapes, shallots, baby arugula, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Toast 4:

Castello Double Créme White, heirloom tomatoes, shallots, balsamic reduction, fresh basil, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper.

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I paired these two toasts with Napa Cellars Chardonnay. Its crisp, bright flavors of apple and pear were a perfect accompaniment for the salty bite of the Double Créme White, prosciutto, and balsamic reduction.

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Toast 5:

Castello Aged Havarti, radish (watermelon radish would be a great substitute here), avocado (YAY, California!), toasted sesame seeds, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and balsamic reduction.

Toasted Sesame Seeds: To toast the sesame seeds, put them in a dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown.

Toast 6:

Castello Aged Havarti, blackberry preserves, nectarines (peaches would work wonderfully here as well), blackberries, and pepitas.

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I’d love to know what you think of this post! Let me know in the comments below. Oh, and if you run into any trouble, shoot me a text at (909) 890-7860. Seriously, I’m happy to help. And yes, that’s really my number.

This post is sponsored by Castello. The content and opinions expressed here are my own. It’s not too late to #SavorTheSummer with these great recipe ideas.

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