07/11/2012 03:10 EDT | Updated 09/10/2012 05:12 EDT

Cherry bruschetta delightful and unique pre-dinner snack with cocktails

Serve these with drinks as hors d'oeuvres. They make a nice contrast to the heavier pre-dinner snacks often served. Or spoon the cherry topping over grilled chicken, duck or pork as a fresh salsa.

Cherry Bruschetta

6 slices white sandwich bread

10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil, plus extra to oil pan

Savoury Cherry Topping

250 g (1/2 lb) fresh cherries

1 lime

10 ml (2 tsp) olive oil, divided

1 large garlic clove, minced

1 small jalapeno pepper, minced

30 to 45 ml (2 to 3 tbsp) slivered fresh mint or basil

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 ml (1/4 tsp) salt

Mint sprigs, for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 190 C (375 F).

Trim crusts from bread and discard. Using a rolling pin, roll bread really thinly. Cut each slice into quarters. Lightly oil a 12-cup mini-muffin pan. Press a bread square into each muffin cup. Brush bread with half the oil. Bake until deep golden, 15 to 20 minutes depending on the pan. Repeat with remaining bread squares. Let cool completely on a rack. These can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container.

Pit cherries, then coarsely chop. Place in a bowl. Finely grate lime peel over cherries, then squeeze 10 ml (2 tsp) lime juice over top. Stir in remaining oil, garlic and jalapeno. Just before serving, toss with mint, green onion and salt.

Spoon a heaping teaspoon (about 7 ml) cherry mix into each bread cup. Garnish each with a tiny sprig of mint, if desired.

Makes 24.

Source: California Cherries.