I was at the famers’ market today and was inspired by the lovely tomatoes and whole grain baguette I purchased. Tomatoes, bread….hmm what to make? Bruschetta! It didn’t hurt that I had a ton of basil at home that I needed to use, either.
I hadn’t made bruschetta before so I was winging it, like a lot of my cooking. My mom has a terrific ability to taste a food and then be able to recreate it. *side note* Years ago when Cinnabon first came out, she asked them how they made the cinnabons. Of course they wouldn’t tell her, so she sat at a table in the mall eating one and watching their technique (Ingredients were hidden) and then she came home and made them. They tasted exactly the same, even the icing! I like to think that I’ve inherited that talent. I can taste a dish and usually figure out how to make it. Most of the time I’m pretty close, but some recipes take a few tries.
For the bruschetta I chopped one medium tomato. A lot of people don’t like the goopy seeds inside tomatoes, so after you cut them in half, squeeze the tomato to get rid of the seeds. It makes your tomatoes less slimy, and it keeps your food looking prettier. You can do this any time you dice tomatoes. Also, my tip is to dice the tomatoes with the skin side down, so your knife is cutting the inside of the tomato instead of going through the skin.
Dice the tomatoes into small cubes
Mince 1 or 2 cloves of garlic — Traditionally, you rub the garlic on the toasted bread.
1T red wine vinegar – again, traditionally, you’d use balsamic…but I was out.
Healthy drizzle of olive oil
Chop a few large basil leaves
Mix all items together.
I used a whole grain baguette, sliced it on the diagonal, spread a little butter on each piece and popped it in the toaster.
When the bread was toasted, I spooned the tomato mixture on top and let the vinegar soak into the bread.
Things I did not do:
Some people use onion, but I think raw onions are too strong. (I could have soaked them in cold water to get rid of the strong onion flavor…maybe next time.)
I didn’t have any parmigiano reggano, but I did think about putting a little goat cheese on top but in the end, I decided not too.
This really is a healthy accompaniment to dinner if you use a whole grain bread and limit the cheese. Please, buy a hunk of good quality parmigiano reggano cheese and keep it wrapped in your fridge. It will last a long time and it’s well worth the expense.
If my sad tomato plants would have had more than 2 tomatoes and I didn’t kill all my basil plants, I could see myself eating this with a nice salad as dinner many nights. Lots of room for experimenting with this simple recipe. The goat cheese is going to be spectacular with this, or even crumbled ricotta salata.