Sopressata Caprese Bruschetta with Gusto di Roma

There was once a season in my life after my husband and I moved to California that we were struggling financially. Without going into great detail about how we got there…we were there and just barely scraping by. A friend told us it didn’t need to be so hard and that we should at least get some help from the food bank….that is what it is there for after all. Now I must say that as far as food bank help goes we got lucky. This service was put on by a church and so many of the items were Trader Joe’s organic products. They weren’t always the most beautiful and some were close to expiring but it was all good quality and a lot of it was better than we had been eating. I also must say that because of my wonderful husband I never actually had to experience going to the food bank myself which I know wasn’t always as lovely as the items that came home to me. He did everything he could for us during that time and this included the things we didn’t want to and never thought we would have to do. Life was difficult in many ways but I found incredible happiness in the help and hope that would come back with him in those bags. When I opened them up I never knew what there was going to be. It was a surprise and a delightful challenge to see what I could create out of the randomness that arrived in that brown paper. To see what new recipes I could find or create without buying more or maybe using something I had never tried before. It was fun and exciting and the bonus was that in the end there was always something to eat!

That part of our lives feels like a million years ago, and I would never ask to relive it, but I am thankful for the experience in so many ways. It was a time in life that changed something in me, as most hard times do, and showed me that there are always good things that can be embraced even when everything seems to be falling apart. It made me enjoy the moment I was in instead of the season we were in and I have thought back on it many times when there was something difficult I was going through. That type of help that so many people dreaded (including us) turned out to be the best memory and experience from that time. It gave me a place to use my creativity and it gave me something to pour myself into everyday. The best part though, is that it made it so that when I look back on those hard days now, the first thing that comes to my mind is the fun I had in the kitchen and not the struggle we had in our lives…and for that I am truly thankful.

All of the happy memories from that time were brought to my mind again recently when I was introduced to the owner of a business called Gusto di Roma. The owner Matt puts together specialty Italian small bites in curated boxes that arrive on your doorstep every month. What a wonderfully delicious idea right!? After a little time and a few chats I was presented with the idea of creating an Italian inspired recipe every month using the ingredients from that month’s shipment. I immediately thought back on my food bank adventures and knew that I would love nothing more! I said yes of course! Now, I’m definitely not comparing a specialty curated box of Italian small bites to a trip to the food bank but rather want to tell of my excitement and joy at the idea of the challenge, and how for me the opportunity means something different on a very personal level. Because of that time I can appreciate more in this time. Because of that time I can do and be more in this time. From that season to this one. From food bank to Italian food box heaven. I. Am. So. Excited! Excited for this challenge….for this moment….for this hunger to create….and I’m excited for the next box to arrive on my doorstep. I. Am. So. Grateful.

here is to my Italian food box adventures!

Sopressata Caprese Bruschetta

• 1 French Baguette Sliced into 1/2” slices

• 1 5-6 oz. Sopressata Salami, diced *

• 6 oz. Cherry tomatoes, diced

• 8 oz. Fresh mozzarella, diced

• Handful of basil, julienned or shredded

• Extra virgin olive oil 

• Salt and pepper

1. Drizzle baguette slices lightly with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and broil until lightly golden.

2. Dice salame, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella into the same size pieces, approx 1/2” - 3/4”.

3. Gently mix the 3 diced ingredients together with the basil. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat the mixture, add salt and pepper to taste and mix again.

4. Plate and top each slice of baguette with the Sopressata Caprese mixture. Drizzle with additional olive oil and add addition salt and pepper if desired. 

Serves 4-6

*The sopressata salami in the Gusto di Roma shipment is spicy but a regular sopressata could be used as well. Adjust pepper to taste depending on spice level.

Buon Appetito and remember that these little bruschetta definitely go good with wine :)