“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; and garlic makes it good.” ~Alice May Brock
8 to 10 ripe Roma tomatoes, chopped into bite size chunks (or two pints cherry/grape tomatoes, cut into thirds.)
1/4 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled, minced fine
1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil (I prefer cold-pressed, unfiltered)
a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar or dry red wine (approximately 2 Tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Once garlic is minced, heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a skillet. Add garlic, and saute until lighty golden. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add chopped tomatoes to bowl (including all seeds and juice,) along with the basil, a couple glugs of olive oil (approximately 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup), balsamic, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix well, and set aside while you make your crostini. Don’t refrigerate the tomato mixture. Make it when you’re ready to serve it, not in advance. Tomatoes lose their flavor and pleasant texture when refrigerated.
While the tomato bruschetta is resting, prepare the crostini. Thickly slice a loaf of good quality, Italian bread…the chewy, crusty kind. Generously butter both sides of each slice and toast in a skillet (like you would toast a grilled cheese sandwich-so both sides are golden brown.) Serve the bruschetta, and some of the juice, piled high on the crostini. Salt and pepper to taste.
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