Sunday, July 22, 2012

Today's garden recipe: bruschetta with homegrown tomatoes and basil

Breaking news: we have ripe tomatoes!  We've had cherry tomatoes for a couple of weeks now, but we didn't get our first full-sized tomato till a couple of days ago.  Now we can have fresh tomato sauce, thick slices of tomato on burgers, margherita pizza, and today's afternoon treat: bruschetta.  A couple of weeks ago, I had a wonderful heirloom tomato bruschetta at Pop Champagne Bar in Pasadena and decided I'd make it at home as soon as I had ripe tomatoes.  I didn't exactly duplicate Pop's recipe, but it was still pretty good.  Here's what I did; feel free to adapt to your own tastes.  Garlic lovers may want to add some fresh minced garlic to the tomato mixture.

Janet's fresh tomato bruschetta
  • Fresh tomatoes, seeded and chopped (I used 2 large red ones and 3 medium green zebras; just use whatever you have)
  • Olive oil to taste (I used only a tablespoon or so, because I'm not a big fan)
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste (I used about 3 tablespoons)
  • Sliced fresh basil (I used about 7 big leaves, rolled up and cut into strips with kitchen shears)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Baguette slices (I used whole grain, presliced and bought for $.99 from the reduced for quick sale rack at Ralph's)
  • Butter or olive oil
Mix the tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper and set aside.  Brush the baguette slices with olive oil or melted butter and toast under the broiler.  Turn when brown on one side.  Caution: mine started to burn in less than a minute, so stay close to the stove and check them every little bit. 

Serve the toasted baguette slices and tomato mixture.  People can spoon tomato mixture on a baguette slice just before eating.  That way the bread doesn't get soggy.