The mention of kesong puti (White Cheese) evokes memories of early mornings clutching a piece of hot pandesal (a Filipino bread) that has a thick slice of creamy, soft cheese tucked in the middle. A local cheese traditionally made of Carabao’s milk, kesong puti is a soft cheese that’s light in texture and flavor.
We managed to grab a large chunk of kesong puti over the weekend. I figured I could do a kesong puti, tomato and basil pizza, but the lack of ready made pizza crust and my laziness to make some from scratch made me rethink the plan. Spotting a baguette, I figured I could make some bruschetta to nibble on instead. Thankfully, a quick refrigerator raid yielded all sorts of goodies.
Unable to decide on just one ingredient, I decided to make different bruschetta. All of them had kesong puti and basil, but I added different things, like fresh tomatoes, black olives, and sundried tomatoes to create a trio of snackables. And it was a success! Offering a nice variety of flavors, the tomato, olives and sundried tomatoes offered interesting, flavorful contrast to the soft, light cheese. The fresh basil added a refreshing bite that’s hard to get tired of.
My personal favorite is the sundried tomato version but not by much. Everything was so delicious so not one bite was left untouched. It’s quick and easy to prepare and looks deceptively classy so it would definitely make a perfect starter or a snack for when you’re entertaining.
Kesong Puti Bruschetta Trio 18 June 2008
whole garlic cloves, peeled and pounded flat
extra virgin olive oil
sundried tomatoes, packed in herbed olive oil
sliced black olives
1. Place the garlic cloves on a plate then douse liberally with olive oil. Let it stay for a few minutes. The longer you soak, the better.
2. Cut the baguette into half-inch thick rounds.
3. Brush both sides of the baguette with the garlic-infused olive oil.
4. To prepare the tomato bruschetta, add a slice or two of tomatoes on a slice of garlic bread. Dust with rock salt, then top with kesong puti.
5. To prepare the olive bruschetta, add a slice of kesong puti on the baguette, then top with black olives.
6. To prepare the sundried tomato bruschetta, add a slice of kesong puti on the baguette, then top with sundried tomato slices.
7. After assembling your bruschetta, pop them in the toaster and toast for 2-3 minutes, depending on your toaster.
8. Top with a basil leaf or two. Serve hot.