When it comes to cooking, sometimes less is more. Bruschetta is a perfect example of this. You don’t need a ton of ingredients or complicated cooking processes to make a phenomenal appetizer – just a few ingredients and a sharp knife. The simplicity of the tomato-basil combo is wonderful, and just proves that by using high quality ingredients, you don’t need a lot of spices or seasonings to have great flavor. This light and fresh appetizer would be a great alternative to the heavy dips and cheese-laden morsels that are usually found at parties.
Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
Yields: 24 small slices
For the bruschetta topping:
6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the toast:
1 baguette of French bread or similar Italian bread
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
Start by preparing the baguette slices. On a diagonal, slice the bread into pieces approximately 1/2 inch thick. Stir together the 1/4 cup olive oil, oregano and basil together, then brush onto each baguette slice. Place the bread onto a baking sheet, olive oil side up, and toast for 5-6 minutes at 450 degrees F, or until the bread turns golden brown.
To prepare the bruschetta topping, start by peeling the tomatoes. Using a sharp knife, cut a small X into each end of the tomato, then drop into boiling water for 30-45 seconds. Remove from the boiling water, and drop into a bowl of ice water. After the tomatoes cool slightly, remove the skins from the tomatoes. (It should slide off easily, if not, place it back int he boiling water).
Once the tomatoes are peeled, cut them in half and remove the seeds from their centers. Dice the tomatoes and place in a medium bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil to the tomatoes and stir until well mixed. Add salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, 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.
Source: Adapted from Simply Recipes