My absolute favorite appetizer during the summer is bruschetta. There is just nothing better than fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil on top of toasted bread. Actually, the bruschetta itself is great on top of any grilled meat or fish, in scrambled eggs for breakfast, or on top of a salad as a dressing. In fact, my garden consists mostly of tomato and basil plants so I can make as much bruschetta as I like without emptying my wallet on the store buying produce. My basil plants are doing great this year, but my tomatoes have about another 20-30 days before any fruit will be ready to pick.
So, I picked up a quart of tomatoes at the market and eagerly came home to throw this together. The recipe below is mine and the amounts are merely approximations. This is made so often at my house that I rarely measure it out. Which is great for everyone… If you like more garlic… put more in. If you don’t like vinegar… put in less. You get the idea.
One thing I never do it make this in the winter when the tomatoes in the store have been shipped thousands of miles and although they look nice, they are mealy and tasteless. Lucky for you I have posted this recipe at the start of tomato season, so you can make this many times for the months to come.
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup onion or shallot, minced
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 tbs. olive oil
Salt and Pepper
¼ cup basil, chiffonade or chopped
1 loaf good bread (French, ciabatta, etc.), sliced and toasted. (I usually toast my bread under the broiler or on the grill.)
1. Cut tomatoes in half, the gently squeeze them over the sink to get out most of the seeds and pulp. Cut tomatoes into a small dice. Should yield about 1 ½ cups. It is important to half a small dice because it will be easier to eat on top of the bread.
2. Toss tomatoes, garlic, onions, vinegar and oil in a bowl.
3. Sprinkle with about ½ teas sugar. (This helps cut the acid of the tomatoes.)
4. Season with salt and pepper. Mix in basil.
5. Serve over toasted bread.