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Learn How Antoni Porowski Makes a Summery Bruschetta & Why He's Embracing Quarantine

Plus, find out which Queer Eye episodes he's most excited to watch!

By Amanda Williams, Allison Crist Jul 03, 2020 4:00 PMTags
Related: Antoni Porowski Makes a Summer Strawberry Bruschetta

Yum!

Antoni Porowski might not be able to give your entire diet a complete overhaul à la Queer Eye, but he can teach you how to make one of his favorite summer dishes: bruschetta.

His version of the Italian classic is basically grilled bread (or Ciabatta or a baguette) that's brushed with a little bit of olive oil and fresh garlic, and topped with everything from goat's cheese to strawberries. 

"When I started working for Ted Allen—my predecessor on Queer Eye, host of Chopped—he taught me he's obsessed with tomatoes, and he eats them all summer long," Antoni told E! News. "And he taught me to put strawberries in bruschetta, which doesn't not make sense because strawberries go actually really nicely with really good balsamic vinegar."

The key to achieving the perfect taste, Antoni added, is to add salt right before eating or serving. Any earlier, and the tomatoes start to lose their moisture. 

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Here's what you'll need to make Antoni's "classic, or not-so-classic, bruschetta."

Ingredients

1/2 - 3/4 Bunch fresh basil, torn into small pieces 
2-3 Medium heirloom tomatoes, diced*
Package ripe strawberries, diced*
*Tomatoes and strawberries should be diced same size
Fresh baguette, sliced about 1/2" thick on the bias
1-3 Cloves garlic, peeled 
1/2 log regular goat's cheese
Good Balsamic Vinegar
Good Extra Virgin Olive oil
Fresh cracked pepper
Finishing or Kosher salt
Parmigiano Reggiano for shaving (optional)

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Once you've gathered your ingredients, it's time to get to work!

Directions

Heat a grill pan (or nonstick pan) over medium-high heat.

Dice strawberries and tomatoes into equal-sized cubes. Tear fresh basil and add to mixture. Add a small drizzle each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add fresh cracked pepper to taste. Toss and set aside.

Brush olive oil onto both sides of baguette slices (why not!). If you don't have a brush, you can pour some olive oil into a dish and very lightly dip each side of the bread to cover it. Place slices on grill pan and toast until dark char marks appear, about 2-3 minutes on each side. If you don't have a grill pan, you can use a broiler, regular pan, toaster or even barbecue.

Right before assembling the bruschetta, add salt to taste to your strawberry and tomato mixture. Salting too early will cause the tomatoes to release moisture prematurely.

To assemble, spread goat cheese on toasted bread and top with a generous layer of the strawberry and tomato mixture. Grate the Parmigiano Reggiano directly on top and serve.

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If you happen to make any mistakes along the way, that's okay!

"The thing about cooking that drives me crazy is when people are like, 'I have to get it perfect every single time,'" Antoni explained. "That's not the point."

According to the celebrity chef, it's all about trial and error. 

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"Just let yourself make mistakes. Mistakes are freakin' awesome," he added. "I love making mistakes, there's so much that you can learn...Like, if you burn your nuts when you're roasting them in the oven—everyone should roast nuts because they're nice and crunchy and all the fat gets rendered and they store longer—then if you burn those and you don't like [them]...then you're probably not going to do that again, because you're going to learn from your mistakes."

Antoni went on to describe how happy it makes him to see people trying their hand at cooking while in quarantine amid the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's been so much fun seeing all of the incredible content that's come out, especially at the beginning of COVID, where people just felt like, 'We're stuck at home,' working with what they had," Antoni said. "That's when I started my, you know, little home videos that I called Quar Eye where I was literally cooking with whatever ingredients I had. I would go to the store with the hopes and dreams of making something really complex and yeah, I found out that there were no eggs. And so it's like, there's no shortage of content out there, and it's such a good time to be curious and to educate ourselves on all matters."

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The 36-year-old continued, "Not to get all worldly, but I think curiosity is something that's incredibly important, and if you're intimidated by anything, like...this season I said something along the lines of, 'We're often intimidated by what we don't know,'...and I think the same thing really does apply, whenever we're dealing with everything that's going on in the world right now."

Antoni emphasized the importance of acting on your curiosity, and taking the necessary steps to educate yourself. 

"When I look at Pride month last year, and we were out on the literal float, it was like a 10-hour production honoring the 50th year of Stonewall. Everyone was out hugging, loving each other and this year all of that sort of like came down to a halt," Antoni told E! News. "And it's been more about reading and listening to podcasts and educating ourselves."

Since returning to New York City after spending time in his hometown of Austin, Texas, Antoni said he's also attempted to train his foster dog, attended Black Lives Matter protests, caught up with people on Zoom and even decluttered his apartment.

He hasn't watched the new season of Queer Eye in its entirety, but he did reveal that he's most excited to see the episode with activist Tyreek Wanamaker

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"[Tyreek] started this block project where he basically revitalizes blocks so the children can actually play safely," Antoni noted. "And it's just, like, so timely."

Rahanna Gray's story is another favorite of his.

"She runs a grooming caravan situation where she grooms pooches," he said. "It's called Stylish Pooch and she loves dogs. And I love dogs."