heirloom tomato bruschetta

You want to know what is simultaneously exciting and heart wrenching at once? Searching Oregon Dachshund Rescue to find my little Basil – basa a sister.

The little kielbasa has a birthday tomorrow, he turns nine. Given that Basil was a birthday gift for me when we adopted him, why not find Basil a little sister for his birthday?

Hence the excitement. The heart wrenching roller coaster comes when I see all of these little sweetie long dogs, so many needing extra love and care, all of them needing real homes. I just want to adopt them all, make up for their sad past and help them heal and trust.

There has to be a sweet little girl pup that will fit in perfectly with Basil and our family. I hope she finds us soon, just as I hope all of these pups find their perfect place soon.

We had another Happy Hour at Home recently, featuring one of my favorite easy summer appetizers – bruschetta. At the market, I cannot pass by the heirloom tomatoes stands without choosing a few, and they really make a bright and fresh bruschetta. Basil provided by mom’s garden, thanks mom!

heirloom tomato bruschetta

1 (gluten free) sourdough baguette
olive oil
2-3 heirloom tomatoes (depending on size)
bunch fresh basil (chiffonaded)
sea salt, pepper
balsamic reduction*

Slice baguette, arrange on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil. Toast breads in 325 degree oven for 5-7 minutes or until crisp. Chop tomatoes and chiffonade basil, add to a bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Arrange toasts on serving plate, spoon tomato basil mixture onto each toast. Drizzle balsamic over each toast.Β 

*balsamic reduction – how to

In a well ventilated area, in a saucepan over high heat, bring balsamic vinegar to a boil (the amount you begin with will reduce to about one quarter that amount – 1 cup balsamic vinegar = 1/4 reduction). Reduce heat to simmer, stirring continually. Vinegar will thicken within several minutes, remove from heat. Allow to cool, transfer to container (preferably a squeeze bottle) and store in refrigerator.Β 

Are you a bruschetta fan? What is your favorite easy summertime appetizer?

Have you ever adopted a pet from a shelter or rescue?



  1. Hannah-lyz says

    On my parents farm, all of our animals are rescued! We have a newfoundland dog from a rescue center called Lulu, a patterdale-terrier who was a stray at the building site my day temporarily worked on, all of our 5 cats come from various rescue centers, relatives who seriously can not look after animals, so we took them in, and one’s a feral cat who decided to move in. We’ve got chickens who were in an egg-farm, and destined for the slaughter-house, 2 turkeys who were meant for the christmas table (they were given to a radio station a christmas stunt, but once the novelty wore off, they had no idea what to do with them! So we took them in) Also got 3 shetland ponies from a rescue center, and a goat who we found wandering in the mines and no-one claimed! Also got a pigeon who fell from his nest and couldn’t fly, so we got him an aviary and now he likes to sit on your shoulder as you wander about =] Rescued another, so now he has a girlfriend, who has laid eggs! Also had a peacock in the past, gorgeous thing! .. my little comment has turned into rather a rant now.. Needless to say, we’re big animal lovers =] I’m in a rented house right now, so no pets for me :( But I love visiting my parents farm to help look after the menagerie =) β™₯

    • Hannah-lyz says

      I did start typing out the animals names, then realised I might be there a while if I did it for all of them! lol

    • spabettie says

      ah, I would love to visit this menagerie farm! πŸ˜€ I love that they have animals that were literally rescued from an untimely end – those chickens and turkeys got lucky! all of these animals are lucky – and a peacock! love it! we were driving out in the country the other day, and I saw a peacock in someone’s yard / acreage… it stood there looking at us when I stopped the car :)

      • Hannah-lyz says

        Percy the Peacock was lovely =] When we had him, I discovered I have the rather unusual talent of being able to imitate a peacock call! It’s very loud lol! To make up for the fact that I can’t have pets at home at the moment, I’ll often make a fuss of the neighbours pets! I also had a pet caterpillar last year, who appeared in the middle of my lettuce on day! Nothing in my lease about not have pet caterpillars! And at least they won’t pee on the carpet….

        • spabettie says

          I love the sound of the peacock call – reminds me of visits to the Oregon Zoo as a child… and PERCY. could there be a better name!? πŸ˜€ haa – ‘nothing in my lease’… you are too awesome.

  2. says

    First of all, I am with you, I want to adopt every animal I see at every shelter, on every rescue site, etc. It is probably a good thing we have a very small home or I might just do that. We have adopted and taken in many many animals over the years and I am always happy to know that we could make the rest of their life as amazing as possible. We spoil our furry babies to no end over here! I just wish I could do it for more. We both volunteer at our local shelter and it is both heart-warming to see how some people can love an animal and pick up and put together the broken pieces leftover from a terrible person. And it is obviously also heart-wrenching to see what some people are capable of. It is sad. OK I could go on forever! Good luck on your search for a new little girl, I am sure you will find her in no time.
    Oh and yah the food… of course this bruschetta looks amazing and I am with you, I am ALL about the heirloom tomatoes. Sooo delicious!

    • spabettie says

      “make the rest of their lives as amazing as possible” < -- YES! Basil was in need of spoiling, and he never takes advantage of it. I want to say a big THANK YOU to both of you for volunteering. I would love to, I just don't know if I could, really... I think if I actually saw these animals, I would bring them all home. and I'd most likely be in tears the whole time I worked :( I just admire people who can do it, and am very appreciative of them! I donate money and supplies, that's how I can give back! πŸ˜€

  3. says

    I love bruschetta. Just light and refreshing and it’s funny b/c I’m not really a tomato person. Maybe it’s the basil. I sure hope you can find your little man a sister. We’ve adopted 3 of our 4 cockers. Have they had their share of problems? Sure but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    • spabettie says

      I wouldn’t trade it for the world either. they are such loves, aren’t they?

      Jason doesn’t care for tomatoes either, but he LOVES bruschetta.

  4. says

    Awww I can’t wait for you to find a sweet little pup to be sisters with Basil!!
    And um, yum – I LOVE fresh tomatoes and basil in the summer, this looks delish!

    • spabettie says

      I know, I can’t wait either! we are going on another vacation soon, so it will have to be after that. but SOON! :)

  5. says

    My Fat Kitty was a rescue. He was a kitten, homeless and being abused by kids. I rescued him and brought him home even though I had never had a cat before and didn’t have a clue on what to do! He’s my baby. And I got Maya as a playmate for him a few months later. He was destroying my apartment because he was all alone when I was at work. :) I hope you find a playmate for Basil. I try to avoid those websites because I get totally sucked in and want to ADOPT THEM ALL!!!!!

    • spabettie says

      sweet Fat Kitty! I hope Basil will be as welcoming to his new sister… he is friendly with other dogs, but after years of being the “one and only” I hope he will adjust okay :)

      • says

        It wasn’t pain-free, for sure. Fat Kitty was NOT happy when Maya came into the picture and she was only 7 weeks old so she was super tiny. There was a lot of vicious growling, spitting, hissing, biting…Basically 2 weeks of hell where I had to keep them separated (I was worried he might hurt her) and I have a scar on my thigh from when I tried to introduce them!

        After 2 weeks they seemed to work it out. I came home to find them curled up on the couch together grooming each other. They’ve been inseparable every since!

        • spabettie says

          awww… see? that is what I hope for Basil. I certainly don’t want to hurt his sweet little heart. when we were in Mexico for the month of December, he went to his normal boarder (a private house on acreage, with many other dogs, horses, chickens…) there were brand new puppies there, and Basil took over parenting… watched over them, groomed them, sat in the box with them – so I know he is very nurturing! πŸ˜€

          I just don’t want him to be hurt, thinking we are replacing him :(

          • says

            Aw, Basil sounds like a sweetie! He will take to a little sibling ok. I don’t think he’ll be sad. I’m sure he’ll still know he’s #1.

  6. Marie SB says

    always one of my favorites, bruschetta! I like mine with a fresh mozz, too. are you not growing your own basil in your garden this time around? I remember every year you showing your beautiful basil plants lasting until winter!

    our min pin is a shelter rescue, and we are so lucky to have eachother. she was originally rescued from a puppy mill, and had been forced to litter each heat. poor girl is nervous by nature already, but with two years of our tlc she is coming around. she does not like to be alone, and I take advantage of her small size to sneak her with me most places, I get away with it a lot, where she often goes completely unnoticed at all!! we just adore her.

    • spabettie says

      hi Marie!

      nope, no garden this year at all (I know, very sad!). I have been too busy with Dad and the move, by the time we got into our new house a garden should have been planted. we have plans to get one going for next year, though. I’m happy you remember my basil! :)

      your sweet min pin must LOVE being able to go on outings with you! we take Basil with us as much as we can, but he also doesn’t hide well – he has to be in the middle of the action, like his mama πŸ˜‰

  7. says

    I’m making a bruschetta this weekend with fresh garden tomatoes. I might post it if I don’t devour it all before I pick up a lens. :)

    My daughter got a dog from the local Denver shelter; they hesitated to let her adopt Charlotte; the party that brought her in lamented that she snapped at people.

    Yes she did…but it was clear from the start that she had also been mistreated. A gorgeous black and white springer spaniel, she also lapped up love like no other. She would just stare at you all day long, longing for more love.

    We had some incidents (I say we because she was at my home a lot; even lived her for a year when Lauren was between college and a full time job) but thankfully nothing serious and gradually she started to feel safer and loved.

    I adore that dog and I love seeing how being loved has changed her; makes me teary just thinking about it. My own dog is a cocker spaniel we got as a puppy from a local family. She has never known anything but an adored life. Yes, I’m sure she loves me but it’s different with Charlotte. It’s as if every single day she is also appreciative and never forgets.

    Good luck on your journey…I’m sure you will find the perfect new family member!

    • spabettie says

      I know, I had to be quick with my camera around this, and I had very patient friends waiting who know I need to take photos first πŸ˜‰

      It has to be a difficult thing, hearing about the “problems” an animal has, and what makes them happen. when Basil came to us, we did not know his background, but he displayed so many traits of a nervous animal, cowering when you approached him, etcetera, and it just breaks my heart that anyone could mistreat any animal. over time, Basil has relaxed and is comfortable here, is such a love!

      yes, your pup is undoubtedly loved and knows it, but you’re right, a rescue animal appreciates it after seeing the other side.

      “being loved changed her” – that is exactly what I could say about Basil as well. and he changed us :)

    • spabettie says

      I have to drive across town for it, but it’s worth it when I am wanting a baguette or another loaf of bread, you know?

      very good to “meet” you, Ella, thank you for stopping by!

  8. says

    I had some amazing bruchetta (with added marinated mushrooms) while sipping wine at a local wine bar last weekend – it’s such a “fancy” but easy treat. And I love it because it’s all about the flavor of the toppings – especially the tomatoes.

    Good luck on your dog search – I know that can be tough. I always want to adopt them all!! :)

    • spabettie says

      I love a mushroom bruschetta too… another one I like is adapted from an “amuse bouche” we had at Mario Batali’s restaurant once – OOOH I think I need to make those next πŸ˜‰

      and thank you! we are excited and ready for a second pup!

  9. says

    We’ve been considering adopting a dog for ages–and now that we actually live in a house instead of an apartment, it might actually happen! You know–after we actually get used to the idea. So, like, in the next two years maybe? :) But PUPPIES!

    Heirloom tomato is one of the only things I want to eat this time of year! That bruschetta looks fabulous, of course.

    • spabettie says

      oh, it sounds like you will soon have a pup! ?? Jason and I have always been dog people, and our first place together was a walk-up apartment in the city… one reason we could not wait to get a house was for a dog! when we moved out of there, we found Basil within a couple months! :)

      good – someone else understands my heirloom obsession (J doesn’t like tomatoes much, although he LOVES bruschetta!). they are all I want to eat too – yesterday I ate one out of my hand, like an apple.

  10. says

    Aww! what a great idea for Basil! I bet it is SO HARD to see all of the ones in need though!! I love and hate animal shelters and pet stores for the same reason! yummy recipe! I LOVE bruschetta!

    • spabettie says

      I wish the full of animals “pet stores” did not exist. I know Scamps had many close down in our area, I think the idea of rescue is becoming more mainstream and normal, at least I hope so.

  11. says

    The bruschetta looks and sounds amazing! YUM!

    The cats we have now, Luke and Leia (they are actually brother and sister), are from a shelter. We intentionally did not get true baby kittens. They were 6 months old and right at that size that they were getting over looked. Tony and I went to the SPCA that day and ended up spending the entire day playing with all the adult cats in the big room, Luke and Leia were not in that room, but we just wanted to love on all the cats. We then played with them. Luke is a SERIOUS lover and Leia could really have cared less! She was kinda like, “yeah, I’ve seen this before, you look at us, play and then walk away”. Anyway, we went and picked up the kids from school without telling them what we were up to and took them to the shelter. We then played with the adult cats again (Tony and I were covered head to toe in hair) and then brought our new family members home with us. We decided to adopt two so we wouldn’t get that close to them after losing our little girl Maggie to lung cancer. We had her since she was about 5 days old (eyes closed…abandoned) and were told by the vet she probably would not live. She lived to be 15 years old and she was truly one of us. We figured Luke and Leia would have each other and not want much to do with us…um, yeah, we were so wrong. Seriously, they are our shadows. Always with us and with working from home, we are literally never separated. Gosh I love my pets! I can’t wait to see your new little one when you find her!

    • spabettie says

      oh, Sarena, hearing about your Maggie makes me tear up, thinking of our sweet little Missy. my brother is still missing her, and I think Dad is too – he wrote the other day “I think we need a cat” OH broke my heart and made me smile at the same time! :)

      yeah, no such luck “not getting close to them” πŸ˜‰ I definitely know how that is… our animals become family, so easy and so quick. I love your cats names, I am such a Star Wars nerd… when my parents got their two dachshunds, brothers, mom wanted to come up with a “couple” name. one of my favorite movies to watch with my mom is Blues Brothers, so I suggested Jake and Elwood. πŸ˜€ I call them Basil’s crazy uncles, cute little pups. I heard from the director at Oregon Dachshund Rescue last night that they have several new pups that just came in… hopefully soon we’ll find our new girl!

  12. says

    My Samantha was a rescue pup, and finding her was one of the greatest things I’ve ever done. I’m so excited for your search and can’t wait to meet Basil’s little sister!

    • spabettie says

      I know, they add so much to our lives, right? rescuing Basil is definitely one of the best things we’ve done. I can’t wait to share the new pup!! πŸ˜€

  13. says

    This looks so good. I’m totally making it tomorrow since I literally have everything on hand and a fabulous loaf of Tuscan Herb bread to boot.

    I’m totally with you on the pets. It breaks my heart seeing all those sweet animals in need of a good home.

    • spabettie says

      oh, wow – your bread sounds good – perfect for a bruschetta!

      …we can just hope that they all DO find good homes, you know? XXO

  14. says

    Good luck with your search for a little sister for Basil, Kristina. How exciting! My little one, Xena, is a rescue cat and is the most precious, adorable kitty I’ve ever known.

    • spabettie says

      thank you!! we have one more vacation coming soon, so I think right after that we will start a real search! πŸ˜€

  15. Allison says

    we have always had rescue cats, right now we have four! I am married with three kids, so no chance of me being a catlady LOL
    I volunteer with my oldest daughter at two sister agencies, and the daughter always wants to bring home one of the dogs. I’m sure a dog will be added to our zoo here soon!

    • spabettie says

      hi Allison, four cats? yes, you need a dog too! sounds like a lovely pet friendly house – be sure to update me on any dog additions! πŸ˜‰

  16. Kath says

    I agree that adoption is becoming more mainstream, and for this I am happy. In high school I worked at a mall pet store, and hated seeing all of the animals in cages. I always wanted to sneak in at night and open all the cages LOL

    • spabettie says

      I definitely understand that one, Kath! those stores were always so sad to me – you can smell the distress of the animals :(

    • spabettie says

      we love balsamic around here… and this is just a simple method – I have added other flavors while reducing as well! :)

  17. says

    Happy early birthday to Basil! I know exactly what you mean – I’m constantly on the Midwest Dachshund Rescue site looking at all the sweet peas who need homes. I wish I could adopt them all!

    I love, love, love bruschetta! It’s a favorite appetizer among my family so it makes a regular appearance on my plate. :)

    • spabettie says

      Basil says thank you, Molly! πŸ˜€ *wagwagwag* those dachshund rescue sites – oh so hard to look at sometimes! us dachshund people really do want to help them all!

      sending you a dachshund hug…

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