Bruschetta

Bruschetta

It’s tomato season, so let’s celebrate it with some delicious bruschetta! Bruschetta is one of those simple dishes, with just a few ingredients, where the recipe itself does not matter as much as the technique and the quality of your ingredients.

There are many different bruschetta recipes and many schools of thought on how to prepare it. One traditional technique is to salt the tomatoes and let them sit in a colander to drain out the juices.

However, after testing bruschetta prepared every which way, I come to conclusion that my favourite way is not to use the pre-salting technique. Fresh summer/fall tomatoes are so precious, so delicious and so full of flavour, that I don’t want to draw those juices out. I want those juices right on top of my perfectly toasted fresh bread.

The other thing is the bread. Many recipes often call for toasted bread. My favourite way to toast the bread for this recipe is in a cast iron skillet. Sure that’s a bit more work, but can you imagine the flavour and the deliciousness of the perfectly crisp golden toast?! Of course, you can simply toast your bruschetta in the oven.

The other thing is the garlic. I don’t like adding the garlic to the tomato mixture and then biting into raw garlic. Rubbing the garlic clove directly onto the toasted bread brings all the flavour without having to bite into raw garlic chunks.

Finally, focus on the star ingredients itself – tomatoes. Get the most beautiful tomatoes you can find. Go for assorted tomatoes, for more colour, flavour and texture – maybe some heirlooms and some cherry tomatoes. Mix it up!

So, let’s get cooking!

Note: I understand the importance of providing the exact ingredient proportions, however, for a recipe as rustic as fresh summer bruschetta, I like keeping it simple; you can simply eyeball the amount of tomatoes you will need per each slice of toast. Find the best, freshest, seasonal tomatoes you can find, and follow the recipe instructions to get the right taste in your bruschetta. For reference, you may need 12-16oz of tomatoes, 6-8 basil leaves and 2 cloves of garlic per about 4 pieces of bread.

Yields1 Serving

 assorted tomatoes (*see note)
 fresh good-quality bread
 basil leaves
 garlic cloves, sliced in half
 olive oil
 a spoonful of butter or so, optional
 dash of red wine vinegar
 kosher salt
 freshly ground black pepper

1

First, start by toasting the bread. I would not use a toaster for this recipe. Heat a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter in a heavy skillet, ideally cast iron, over medium heat. Toast your bread for about 4 minutes per side, watching closely not to burn and moving it around the skillet to ensure it gets evenly crisp and golden.

If serving for a large group of people, to make the process easier, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the bread slices on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 3some olive oill. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp. Let cool on the baking sheet.

2

Dice your tomatoes, add basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil and add a spalsh of vinegar. Don't add too much vinegar, the goal is not to make this sour but add a nice tang.

3

Rub your toasted bread with sliced garlic. Rub gently if desired, but I prefer to go with a heavier hand to bring more garlic flavour.

4

When you are ready to serve, season your tomatoes with kosher salt. Don't season them any earlier as the salt will start drawing out their juices. Top your bread slices with tomato mixture, including their delicious juices, and serve immediately. Grind some fresh black pepper over the bruschetta, if desired.

Ingredients

 assorted tomatoes (*see note)
 fresh good-quality bread
 basil leaves
 garlic cloves, sliced in half
 olive oil
 a spoonful of butter or so, optional
 dash of red wine vinegar
 kosher salt
 freshly ground black pepper

Directions

1

First, start by toasting the bread. I would not use a toaster for this recipe. Heat a splash of olive oil and a knob of butter in a heavy skillet, ideally cast iron, over medium heat. Toast your bread for about 4 minutes per side, watching closely not to burn and moving it around the skillet to ensure it gets evenly crisp and golden.

If serving for a large group of people, to make the process easier, preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the bread slices on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with 3some olive oill. Toast in the oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden and crisp. Let cool on the baking sheet.

2

Dice your tomatoes, add basil leaves, drizzle with olive oil and add a spalsh of vinegar. Don't add too much vinegar, the goal is not to make this sour but add a nice tang.

3

Rub your toasted bread with sliced garlic. Rub gently if desired, but I prefer to go with a heavier hand to bring more garlic flavour.

4

When you are ready to serve, season your tomatoes with kosher salt. Don't season them any earlier as the salt will start drawing out their juices. Top your bread slices with tomato mixture, including their delicious juices, and serve immediately. Grind some fresh black pepper over the bruschetta, if desired.

Bruschetta

Make it Gluten-Free: Use Gluten-Free bread.

Happens to be Vegetarian.

Make it Vegan/Dairy-Free: Do not use butter, simply use olive oil.

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