Mid-June. Oh man, there’s no better time of year when it comes to fresh foods here in the South. We wait all year for the true taste of tomatoes, peaches, watermelon, blueberries, peas, beans and other local treats, and when they start pouring in from farms, it’s a mad rush on putting them to good use.
In this summery appetizer, sweet, juicy local tomatoes are perched on toasted bread slices that have been slathered with garlicky black-eyed pea hummus. It’s a great way to start the night, and it’s built on layers of seasonal flavors. Look for fresh black-eyed peas from local farmers, but frozen ones work well, too.
Bruschetta with Black-eyed Pea Hummus and Fresh Summer Tomatoes
1 baguette, cut into ½ inch slices
1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon lemon
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt
2-3 fresh local tomatoes, yellow and red
½ cup shredded chicken (optional)
8 oz. crumbled feta or chevre
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Olive oil for finishing
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and toast for 5-7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside. Place black-eyed peas in a food processor. With blade running, add garlic, lemon, cumin and salt. Taste for seasoning.
Slice tomatoes into ¼-inch slices. Chop some as well for garnish. Spread a small amount of black-eyed pea mixture on each bread slice. Top with tomato, chicken (optional) and cheese, returning slices to sheet pan. Turn oven to broil, and heat slices under broiler briefly, just to warm cheese, about 1 minute. Remove from oven. Plate bruschetta and top with chopped tomatoes, chives, and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve immediately.