This is an appetizer with oomph and a great showpiece for any occasion. My husband suggested we have brie and crackers as an appetizer and I said that was a good idea, but decided to dress it up a bit.
Brie or Camembert, about 4 inches (10cm) wide
Tomato Bruschetta Topping:
1/4 cup seeded and finely chopped tomatoes
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fresh basil, chopped (can use dried)
a dash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180c (350F)
Thinly slice top rind off cheese, leaving sides and bottom intact. Place on foil lined baking sheet for easy handling. Bake cheese in center of oven for 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to serving dish. Top with tomato bruschetta topping and serve immediately with crackers or good Italian bread.
The Culinary Chase’s Note: I used a mini Brie (about 2″ wide) but did not remove the rind. I have found that removing the rind makes it more difficult to transfer the softened cheese to a dish. The rind is edible and not thick enough to make a difference. Bread sticks are very useful as the cheese becomes more like a dip! Enjoy!