Wednesday, January 5, 2011
One of my favourite things that I made for New Year's was this bruschetta. It ... was ... divine. There was only one problem though. I had made so many other appetizers (it was an appetizer-only fete) that we didn't have time to dig into this bruschetta. A pity because this was delish!
When I did get to eat this bruschetta it wasn't until the following day and I actually didn't eat it the traditional way. I ended up eating a few spoonfuls because I just couldn't help myself. Is it wrong to take a small bowl of it and eat it on it's own? If it's wrong, I don't want to be right!
This dish brought back a lot of great memories of my 2007 trip to Italy with Brad. There's nothing better than having a dish bring back wonderful memories of sipping wine and eating fresh bruschetta (pronounced 'brus-ketta') in a piazza!
This appetizer definitely has a real freshness to it. I love the hint of balsamic and how the flavours of the the fresh basil and the two types of tomatoes go so well together. With a recipe like this, fresh ingredients are a must. Don't use canned tomatoes when you can use fresh, don't use dried herbs if you can use fresh basil! Don't even get me on the topic of jarred garlic!! Fresh is always better in my book.
Also, the bread you use is very important. You want a loaf that has a dense, open texture so there's room for the garlic and juices to pool a bit. Stay away from soft, squishy breads. Once you have the ingredients this recipe is easy to whip up and impress your guests!
6 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil) - drained and chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (the best you can find)
1/4 cup fresh basil, stems removed and chopped
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Italian bread, sliced into 3/4-inch slices
2 garlic cloves, whole
1 1/2 cups Mozzarella cheese, grated
In a large bowl, combine roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, 4 minced garlic cloves, olive oil, balsamic, basil, salt and pepper. Allow mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes.
Preheat oven (or grill) so it's nice and hot. Place bread slices on a cookie sheet and broil until toasted and pale golden in colour. Watch carefully, it won't take long! Flip and toast the other side.
While the bread is toasting, place garlic cloves on a chopping board and press down on them with the flat side of a large knife until the garlic squishes enough for the skins to crack and peel off easily.
Remove bread from oven (or grill) and immediately rub the garlic hard over one side of the bread. This will lightly flavour the toast.
Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the bread slices. Top with Mozzarella cheese and broil again just until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.
Note: I had so much of the tomato mixture left that I used it in a chicken dish that was amazing! I'll post the recipe soon.
Tip: You could also use this tomato mixture in an omelette, over pasta, over goat cheese on a cracker ....
Recipe inspired from: Allrecipes.com
I've linked this recipe to: A Little Nosh: Tastetastic Thursday!