A popular Italian appetizer since the 15th century, Bruschetta is still in vogue. The best restaurants offer it on their menus and gardeners with a bountiful tomato crop serve it at their table. Here in the U.S., we associate bruschetta with tomatoes, the fresher the better. But in medieval Italy it meant bread rubbed with garlic and topped with beans or cured meat. In Tuscany it is called “fettunta”. Instead, grilled bread is used to sop up the very first olive oil of the season. No topping is used to compete with the olive oil in order to appreciate the purity of its taste.
My tomato plants are producing daily and the beautiful red gems find their way into salads and sandwiches. But I like to showcase their sweet rich flavor in other ways too. Bruschetta is such a tasty tribute to the tomato. Flavored with onion, garlic, and fresh basil, it is summer’s bounty on a slice of bread.
Chop red onion, mince garlic and place in a bowl.
Add chopped tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and mix in the olive oil and balsamic.
Add fresh chopped basil.
Slice bread at an angle, drizzle with olive oil and pop in the oven for a few minutes.
Top the toasted bread with the bruschetta
5 medium tomatoes, chopped small
½ red onion, chopped small
3 garlic cloves, minced
5-6 basil leaves, torn into small strips
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp good balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
Chop red onion, mince garlic and place in a bowl
Add chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper, basil
Combine with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and set aside to marinate for an hour
Slice baguette at an angle and brush each slice with a little olive oil. Place on a cookie sheet and pop under the broiler for a minute or two just until it is a little brown. Flip bread over to the other side for less than a minute, careful it does not burn.
Remove from oven and top with the bruschetta.
Serve as an appetizer