Easy Fresh Bruschetta
One of the yummiest appetizers / side dishes ever for me is bruschetta. I seriously ADORE it. There’s just something about the fresh basil and tomatoes with the little accompanying garlic that just makes my heart sing. I realize that there are about 100 million recipes for this dish and no offense to Giada De Laurentiis, but I think mine is pretty darned awesome. And speaking of Giada. I love her food and I have many of her recipes, but I have to say this. Giada, we GET that you are authentically Italian. So if you could please for the love of dear goodness stop over pronouncing the names of Italian words and foods we would all love you a little more.
Okay now that that’s out of the way, here we go!
Easy Fresh Bruschetta by Jen Graham
You will need:
4 Roma or other firm fleshed tomatoes (homegrown or organic are best… but use what you can)
a small bunch of FRESH basil (at least 12 large leaves, more if you love fresh basil)
1-3 cloves of garlic, (crushed and use as much garlic as you like)
Salt and pepper to taste
a splash of olive oil
One baguette (country of origin your choice of course… Italian being the preferred for authenticity’s sake, but there does seem to be a prevalence of French baguette’s on the market)
Step one: wash and dry your produce. You don’t have to get the leaves perfectly dry, but at least blot convincingly between a couple of paper towels.
To chiffonade something means to cut it into ribbons… and let’s be honest, I like saying it because it sounds fancy. Stack your leaves in a tidy stack and then roll it up into a cigar like shape.
Just like it sounds. Now you can be done with your basil now if you don’t mind long ribbons of it in your Bruschetta, and I don’t but my dear husband does, so that brings us to step 4.
So instead of long ribbons of basil, we now have little pieces of basil.
Cut each tomato into a least 6 pieces… more like 8 for easier scooping later
GENTLY mix the chiffonaded (is that even a word?) basil, tomatoes, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and splash of olive oil in a nice glass bowl. Then seriously, let it sit there for at least a good half hour if you can stand it. The salt and pepper bring all sorts of loveliness out of the tomatoes, and I like the throw a bit of olive oil and the garlic in there because I don’t want to rub olive oil and crushed garlic over EVERY piece of the sliced baguette. (Which is how it is traditionally done and as you know, I am a little bit of a rebel at times.)
Slice your whole baguette into nice little one inch-ish pieces. Cut them on the diagonal a little bit so that you can maximize the area that you can fill with bruschetta-y goodness.
Step 9. Toast your baguette slices in the oven on their side. If you toast them in the upright position like this, both sides crisp up nicely, and there’s no pesky having to flip them during baking time. Which for the record is about 5-10 minutes in the oven at 350.
Step 10. Enjoy!
Now, you can just top the toasted baguette slices with the bruchetta topping, or you can do what I do, and first spread the baguette with a nice soft cheese, then top with the heavenliness. I am a big fan of the garlic and herb flavored goat cheese from Trader Joe’s. That stuff is awesome!
If you attempt this or are even just intrigued by this, leave a comment and say so. Have a great day!