Thursday, August 9, 2012

Things to do with Tomatoes, Part II: Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

Whenever we have a surplus of tomatoes, I love doing bruschetta. There is something magical about the crisp bread, fresh tomatoes, earthy basil and the tang of garlic and vinegar. Yum.

The trick to getting consistently great bruschetta is to get the tomato mix as DRY as possible. You want to get out all the juice and seeds you can. Otherwise your topping will look more like soup and your breads will just get all soggy!

Recipe: Tomato & Basil Bruschetta


Tomatoes (about a dozen golf ball/plum sized, 6-8 romas, 4-6 big guys)
12 or so fresh basil leaves.
3-4 cloves finely chopped garlic or about 1 Tbs jarred, crushed garlic
1 Tbs. balsamic vinegar

1) Wash and cut the stem end off of the tomato. Gently squeeze the juice and seeds out. Coarsely chop tomato flesh & drop pieces into a medium sized collander.

2) After all tomatoes and chopped and well drained, transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl.
3) Stack basil leaves on top of each other, roll and chop finely. Add to tomatoes.
4) Add in garlic and vinegar. Stir to combine.
5) Add a lightly sprinkling of salt, stir and taste. You are looking for the sweet/meaty flavor of the tomatoes to be the primary flavor and second is a mild basil and garlic flavor (as that will intensify over time)and finally a light tang from the vinegar. Adjust seasonings as needed.
6) Cover and refrigerate for at least ONE hour.


1 baguette (french or sourdough is fine)
olive oil
garlic salt

1) Slice baguette crossways about every 1/2 inch. Place slices on baking sheet.
2) Drizzle or brush olive oil over each slice.
3) Sprinkle with garlic salt (or rub with fresh cloves of garlic & sprinkle sea salt)
4) Broil in oven for just a few minutes until crispy and browned. If you don't want to heat up the oven (who does in the summer heat?) you can also grill these (oil side DOWN) for a few minutes on high on your gas or charcoal grill. This adds a really nice smoky flavor as well.

Other Serving Suggestions:
This lovely tomato topping isn't just great on bread. If you happen (ha ha) to find yourself with extra, try spooning it on grilled chicken or fish. It is also FANTASTIC as a pasta topping/sauce.

Feel free to share your thoughts/experiences in the comments below!

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