Tuesday, July 22, 2014

My favorite summertime treat--Bruschetta!


Nothing says summer like fresh produce! 

One of my all time favorite things to make in the summer is bruschetta (pronounced "brew-skett-ah" for us non-native Italians). For us in northern Minnesota, we haven't quite reached that gardening phase in the summer when you're surrounded by a million tomatoes that seem to ripen (then overripe) by the second but when we do, this is my go-to recipe to use up a lot of tomatoes quickly. 

Tomato Basil Bruschetta

8 small tomatoes, about 4 cups diced (Roma or plum tomatoes are my favorite for this but any will do)
8-10 fresh basil leaves (3-4 TB)
3-4 garlic cloves (2TB)
2 TB extra virgin olive oil
3 TB balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt, to taste
Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 loaf of french bread and additional olive oil and garlic for seasoning

Directions:

Peel the tomatoes. To do this, put the tomatoes in boiling water for no more than one minute to loosen the skins (parboil). Shock them with cold water to make sure they don't stew. Peel the skins off. Cut the tomatoes into wedges and remove the inner juice and seeds. Dice the tomato into small pieces (like the consistency of chunky salsa).

Finely chop the fresh basil and garlic cloves. Combine with the tomatoes and add the olive oil and vinegar. Taste as you go and adjust to your preferences. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate for at least an hour to allow the flavors to combine. This can be made a day ahead and enjoyed several days after (if it can last that long!)

To prepare the bread, slice the loaf into 1/2 inch slices and lay out flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush a bit of olive oil on both sides (or leave it dry if you'd prefer to save a few calories). Bake at 375 for about five minutes on each side or alternatively, broil on low on each side for a few minutes. For extra flavor, sprinkle some salt or once the bread has cooled a bit, you can rub fresh garlic clove lightly over each piece. 

Serve together. You could also garnish with extra basil or a small hunk of Parmesan or mozzarella cheese. 

 some simple ingredients

 parboiling the tomatoes

see how easy that skin comes off? so worth the minute to boil them!

 the admittedly messy process of taking out the juice and seeds! 
I always have tomato juice dripping from my elbows

dice up the tomatoes nice and fine

basil and garlic

everything combined together! Yum!

 there it is... about to disappear!

Photos were all taken with my little iphone since I didn't have my fancy Canon at the lake house. Nice work, iphone. I knew you were meant for more than facebook!

 Enjoy!

-Nina

gigi kept taking bites out of my tomatoes and stealing my ingredients. ha ha! nothing like a toddler to make you laugh at your own foodie-ness

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