Friday, August 10, 2012

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

I am a fiend for anything tomato and basil together.  Coupled with the fact that we have a ton of basil growing in our backyard, pretty much means that we eat a lot of Caprese salads and other tomato/basil combinations.  The other night, I just was completely blank as far as what to make for dinner (it was just one of those days - my brain was pretty much fried).  Usually I have an idea, or better yet, dinner is done by the time my husband comes home, but not this night.  We were both exhausted and cooking anything just didn't sound like too much fun.  So, we made it a no-cook appetizer night.  I chopped some tomatoes, we cut some shards of Parmesan cheese and that was our dinner.  And it was completely wonderful and surprisingly filling, too (lots of bread!).  Just a tip - this is VERY garlicky - you can omit rubbing the garlic on the bread if you prefer to tone it done a bit.

As far as the Parmesan cheese goes, I ate it on the side, by itself, because I love it just like that!  My husband actually topped his bruschetta with a shard of Parmesan, which also looked very yummy!

Serves 3 as a meal, or 6 as an appetizer

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta 

6 plum tomatoes, chopped and seeded
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 basil leaves, chopped
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Crostini
1 baguette French bread
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Slice the baguette in 1/2 inch slices and arrange on a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet.  Using a pastry brush, brush a small amount of olive oil on each slice.  Toast for 5-6 minutes until they start to turn a golden brown.

Chop and seed tomatoes while bread is toasting.  In a medium bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and basil leaves.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.  

Once the bread is done, remove from oven and rub the garlic clove over each slice.  Serve in a bowl with a spoon for each person to scoop the tomato/basil mixture onto the bread (or top each one if you prefer and serve already made up).   
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