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Valentine’s Day Appetizer – Bruschetta Hearts

It’s nearly that time of year again, when almost all food is colored red and/or shaped like hearts. And of course that means it’s a great time to make a Valentine’s Day appetizer.

Valentine's Day appetizer

When the SoCal Lady Bloggers group invited us to join in a Valentine’s Day progressive dinner party, we happily signed up to serve an appetizer. What a great way to enjoy a meal and let everyone share in the cooking! We wanted to make something love-able, so we came up with two different kinds of Bruschetta Hearts.

The most basic bruschetta involves toasted bread, garlic, and olive oil. If you want to get a little fancier, you can add more toppings like tomatoes and basil or roasted red peppers. You can even add something sweet, like oranges, which we’ll get to in a minute.

Valentine’s Day Appetizer

For our first version, we made a little Italian-style tomato mixture. Next we added it to some toast with goat cheese. Although most bruschetta is served on crusty Italian bread, we made this first version with whole wheat bread. The whole wheat bread gave it a nice nutty flavor.

Bruschetta Hearts with Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese

Bruschetta Hearts with Tomato, Basil, and Goat Cheese

These adorable bruschetta hearts make the perfect Valentine's Day appetizer.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, basil, bruschetta, goat cheese, tomato, Valentine's Day
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 8 slices whole wheat bread
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, softened
  • 2 medium vine-ripened tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra-vigin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Cut the slices of bread using a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Arrange the bread hearts and toast them in a preheated 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until light brown and crispy. Spread each toast heart with a thin layer of goat cheese.

  2. Next, in a small mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, basil leaves, and salt and pepper. Distribute tomato mixture evenly over each toast heart, spreading it to emphasize the heart shape. Serve immediately.

 

The second version we made was more of a Mexican-inspired treat. We created a hot pink salsa with red onions and blood oranges. Then we put it on top of some chili pepper tortillas (with a rich natural orange color) to boost the color and the spice.

Tortilla Hearts with Blood Orange/Red Onion Salsa

This Valentine's Day appetizer combines beautiful shades of red, orange, and pink with blood oranges and red onions.

Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword appetizer, blood orange, red onion, salsa, tortilla, Valentine's Day
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 3 large flour tortillas, ideally red or orange
  • 3 blood oranges, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. With a heart-shaped cookie cutter, cut heart shapes out of each of the tortillas (you should be able to get at least three out of each tortilla). Toast tortilla hearts until crispy. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stir, and refrigerate until ready to serve. To serve, spread a small amount over each tortilla heart and serve immediately.

Kids cooking tip: It’s easy to involve kids with both of these recipes. Your pint-sized chefs can help with making the heart cut-outs, spreading the goat cheese, and hand-tearing the basil or cilantro. They can also help by spreading the tomato or orange mixtures.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

P.S. If you’re trying to avoid artificial food colorings, check out our other stories on holiday treats with natural food colorings. For example, check out these fun ideas at Halloween Without Food Coloring and St. Patrick’s Day Without Food Coloring.

 

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18 Responses to Valentine’s Day Appetizer – Bruschetta Hearts

  1. Jamie February 3, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I love brushetta!!!! Looks good and tasty

    • jollytomato February 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Thanks, Jamie!

  2. Amy {babybabylemon} February 3, 2012 at 2:56 pm #

    Love the tortilla hearts. So cute!

    • jollytomato February 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Amy!

  3. Carolyn West February 3, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    You had me at bruschetta… but add the goat cheese and I’m in heaven. All my favorite food in one bite. I’m in. Pretty sure I’m going to make this on Sunday for Superbowl. My mouth is watering.

    • jollytomato February 4, 2012 at 3:11 pm #

      LOL – Thanks, Carolyn! This was fun!

  4. Tonya Staab February 7, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    What sweet little hearts and such a great idea for a Valentine’s Day spin on such a yummy appetizer.

    • jollytomato February 7, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks for stopping by, Tonya!

  5. Blogdad February 10, 2012 at 10:52 am #

    I have made some bruschetta that has gotten rave reviews: the secret is/are (one of?) the following
    Plum tomatoes with the centers scooped out

    Garlic in olive oil that is cooked at low temp in the toaster oven for about 10 min

    Lemon juice

    minced roasted red pepper

    Cooking takes the bitterness out of the garlic (you knew that) and enrches the oil

    red peppers add sweetness, lemon juice gives tanginess

    Gutting the tomatoes reduces the liquid ( and seeds)

    These are mixed together with the usual suspects- a bit of salt, ground black pepper, minced parsley, perhaps a bit of fresh basil, etc. Enjoy!

    • jollytomato February 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm #

      Thanks, Blogdad! <3

  6. Cathy February 11, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    These are delicious! I made them for Valentine Bunco last night and everyone loved them and asked how to make them. I agree with Blogdad that the tomatoes should be seeded to reduce the liquidity. I will definitely make them again

  7. areadingcat February 9, 2017 at 8:34 am #

    hi! loved your recipe so i included it on my latest post 😀 check it out if you have the time ^^ http://areadingcat.com/2017/02/09/valentines-day-dinner-ideas/ xx

    • Jeanne February 9, 2017 at 9:14 am #

      Hi! Thanks so much, A Reading Cat! : )

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