Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Bruschetta Made With Fresh Garden Tomatoes and Basil - Yum

Oh the glorious bounty of a summer garden.  Last year we planted our garden at the back of our yard (which is quite large) and critters ate everything in it.  One day we had 18 tomatoes ready to pick and the next day they were gone.  Every. Last. One.  Rabbits ate the squash, cucumber and strawberry plants and I am assuming deer pulled the tomato plants right out of the ground.  At least they were all well fed.  We, on the other hand, were very sad that we didn't even have one single juicy tomato.

This year, we planted our garden in a totally different place and it has done exceptionally well.  Hallelujah.  We did have to water it during the super hot days due to having no rain.  This past week we lucked out and received almost 6 inches of rain.  Therefore, the tomatoes are starting to roll in.  The big tomatoes take longer to ripen and they are starting to come in, but the cherry tomatoes are coming in fast and furious as they say.  They are coming in so fast, that we are giving them away to our daughter's families because we can't eat them all.  I wish we could eat them all because they are sooooo delicious - super sweet and juicy.  I could eat them like candy.

Tonight, I made shrimp scampi for dinner and a delicious bruschetta to go with it.   Bruschetta made with sweet, ripe, juicy tomatoes is one of those things that can make you do cartwheels it is so good.  Just look at the beautiful colors in the picture above.   Doesn't it make  you want some?

Here is a little background on bruschetta.

Bruschetta (Italian pronunciation: [bru'sket:ta]  is an antipasto from Italy whose origin dates to at least the 15th century. It consists of roasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.  Wikipedia

There are many variations on a basic bruschetta, some of which are made with a tomato topping, mozzarella, or sausage.  I made the tomato version because 1. We like it, 2. We like it, and 3.  We have tomatoes coming out of our ears.  

Bruschetta is so easy to make.  Here is what you need.

1 baguette, cut into thick slices  (I made 4 pieces for the two of us)
fresh tomatoes (I used 12 cherry tomatoes for the two of us)
fresh basil leaves (about 6 for 4 pieces)
extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic

First, slice your baguette into thick slices.  Smash the garlic clove using the flat blade of a knife and the palm of your hand.  Rub the garlic on the slices of baguette.  Drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil.  Place the bread on a baking sheet and place in a 350 degree oven until the bread is lightly toasted.  Remove from oven.

Dice the tomatoes and place in a bowl.  Lightly salt and pepper.  Put the basil leaves on top of each other making a stack and roll them up like a cigar.  Using a sharp knife, very thinly slice the leaves (chiffonade cut).  Slice them across the little rounds you have just made.  Sprinkle the basil leaves over the tomatoes, put a few drops of olive oil on the tomatoes and stir.  Spoon the tomatoes over the toasted bread.  Eat and enjoy!  (Adjust the amount of tomatoes and basil for the number of bread slices you will be covering.)  

I could have eaten nothing but these bruschetta for my dinner.  Oh my goodness, they were so good.  Tomato and basil are such a fantastic combination.  Add it to garlic and good olive oil, paired with a crusty piece of bread and there is nothing better!  I can't wait to have more of this heavenly delight throughout tomato season - and believe me we will be having more.  The basil is growing beautifully in my herb garden and the tomatoes are truly making up for last summer.  You can make your salsa, and pico de gallo, but don't forget to make bruschetta - it's summertime tomato goodness at it's finest.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

We Americans tend to pronounce bruschetta with an "sch" sound in the middle instead of a "k" sound as the Italians do.  Impress everyone the next time you make bruschetta and pronounce it the Italian way.    Brus"k"etta.  

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