Saturday, September 4, 2010

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Bruschetta (pronounced brusketta in Italian) is an appetizer that originated in central Italy and consists of toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper. The most popular variety outside of Italy is topped with tomatoes, garlic, basil, and sometimes mozzarella.

I discovered this easy recipe a few weeks ago. It is especially good using garden fresh tomatoes you can find this time of year. Also, using fresh basil instead of dried makes a huge difference in taste. The smell and taste of fresh basil is divine and I have thoroughly enjoyed cooking with it.

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
6 roma tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 1/4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
8 slices Italian bread, cut about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Directions:Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 45 mins

1 Whisk together chopped garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper, and basil.
2 When combined slowly drizzle in oil.
3 Add tomatoes and let sit for 20 minutes at room temp.
4 Meanwhile, toast the bread.
5 This can be done either in the toaster (if it's got really wide slots) or under the broiler (if using this method watch closely so it doesn't become a brickette).
6 When the bread is toasted rub each piece, on one side, with the whole garlic pieces.
7 Place the bread on a cookie sheet and top with tomato mixture.
8 Sprinkle on a little cheese and broil till the cheese melts (you can skip that last broiling bit and it's equally as wonderful).
9. Serve immediately.
10. The tomato mixture also makes a wonderful vinegrette for an antipasto salad.

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