I’m hoping that by posting this recipe, I’ll be making my sister Lexi really, really, really inspired to start making this for herself. It’s her favorite – probably in the top five things that I make that she loves the most. And accomplished chef and baker she may be, she always cons me into making it for her. Maybe it’s like how I feel about a good grilled cheese – I can make it for myself, but it tastes so much better when someone else makes one for me. Come to think of it, Lexi makes my favorite grilled cheese of all time – Tilamook cheddar, feta cheese and a tomato on slices from a pullman loaf. Maybe we were meant to be sisters.
There are very few ingredients in this bruschetta, so you have to use the best ingredients possible. Fresh ripe tomatoes, leafy basil and fruity olive oil make all the difference. This topper is killer on toasted ciabatta, baguette rounds brushed with olive oil and baked, or even focaccia. If carbs aren’t your thing, try it atop chicken paillard (or a simply grilled chicken cutlet) and a handful of arugula. It’s a bistro meal without a ton of calories. You can also toss this bruschetta with boiled, cooled potatoes and blanched string beans for my absolute favorite salad of all time (similar to my Potatoes Vinaigrette).
This bruschetta doubles and triples easily – make enough for friends, but not enough for leftovers. It’s best eaten the same day before the tomatoes become soggy and too acidic. It’s a carpe diem kind of recipe, so tuck in post haste.
2 c. of chopped tomatoes
1 shallot, finely diced
3/4 tsp. of salt
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
5 tbs. of olive oil
2 tbs. of red wine vinegar
7 leaves of fresh basil, stacked, rolled and thinly sliced
toasted bread or crostini
Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, shallot and basil to a bowl. Toss with olive oil and vinegar. Taste for seasoning. Top crusty slices of bread with a few tablespoons of bruschetta and serve with sprigs of basil for garnish. Or put out the bread and bruschetta and let people assemble for themselves. For non-vegans, you can serve bruschetta topped with slices of buffala mozzarella as an added treat.