Sunday, September 9, 2012

Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil

 Bruschetta (pronounced "brusketta") is one of the simplest things in the world to make.  It is a delicious and easy appetizer. The balsamic vinegar gives it a little bite.

Bruschetta is a fresh, simple and delicious Italian appetizer that can be prepared in minutes and enjoyed any time of the year.   


Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil


     6 or 7 ripe tomatoes
     2 cloves garlic, minced
     1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
     1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
     10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
     Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

     1 large French baguette
     1/4 cup olive oil


Prepare the tomatoes first. Cut an X on the tomatoes and parboil the tomatoes for one minute in boiling water. Drain. Peel the skins off the tomatoes.  Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in halves or quarters and remove the seeds and juice from their centers. Also cut out and discard the stem area. 

Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.
While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Slice the baguette on a diagonal direction for slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 200°C, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.
Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.


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