Summer’s here and the time is right for..Tomato Bruschetta
Well, you may be dancing in the street, which is perfectly acceptable by the way. Me, well, my thoughts are usually on food. And an experience at a family wedding many years ago watching a middle aged woman in lilac chiffon boogie her way around the dance floor, has really made me question public displays of dancing, especially after a few sherbets. Wow, hard to get that picture out of my mind now!
Dancing aside, let’s talk about bruschetta. Crisp toasted slices of bread (day old sourdough or ciabatta is best) rubbed over with garlic and then topped with something fresh. In this case tomatoes. Last week I had a trip out to Costco and found these lovelies:
So sweet and delicious – hard not to eat them all just straight from the tray. We were dining with friends and bringing the nibbles, so I thought Summer Tomato Bruschetta would be just the thing for a hot night. This is a great starter for a meal or as party food. Quick and easy to prepare, able to be made ahead and absolutely delicious!
Chop your tomatoes. I like to go fairly fine, but rustic is okay too. If using larger tomatoes, I often deseed just to cut down on the juice, but again , this is not necessary – you can always strain some of the juice off . Add in some good quality extra virgin olive oil (please buy an Australian one) a clove or two of finely minced garlic, some salt and pepper and some finely shredded basil leaves. A dash of balsamic vinegar will really enhance the flavours right about now. Ta da! Told you this was an easy one! Now you can eat this straight away, but letting this sit in the fridge for at least an hour will allow the garlic to mellow out and the flavours to develop.
Now you can get on to making your bruschetta. This was a little tricky for me last week without an oven! So, I’ll confess, I did have a cheaty backup plan, and had purchased some crostini . They were small but crisp and having a packet in the pantry certainly makes this a quick and easy entertainer. More traditionally of course, we make our own Bruschetta. Take a baguette and slice diagonally. Brush lightly with oil and place in a preheated moderately low oven for 10 minutes, turn bread and repeat. What you are aiming for is golden bruschetta that has dried out more than toasted – we want crunch! Once out of the oven, rub the surface with a cut slice of garlic. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container until you need them.
Serving is a help yourself affair which I love. Put the tomatoes in a pretty bowl, place bruschetta on a platter and let guests spoon the tomato topping on then watch their faces as their mouths explode with flavour! If serving as part of a dinner party, please remember to serve immediately – nothing worse than soggy bread.
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, or 350g mini roma tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic
- ¼ cup basil leaves, shredded finely
- ½ tbs good quality extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper
- Baguette, preferably day old
- olive oil extra
- garlic clove, extra
- Chop tomatoes finely and place in a bowl (you may deseed if you wish to have a less wet topping)
- Add finely minced garlic, basil leaves, oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper. Mix well, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour to allow flavours to develop.
- Slice bread on the diagonal. Brush lightly with oil, and place slices on a tray and place in a moderately low oven for 10 minutes, Turn bread and repeat. Rub warm bread with garlic clove and allow to cool. Place in an airtight container until ready to serve