For the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic games, I wanted to do something international for my viewing party. I decided to go Italian with my appetizer, inspired by the fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil that my boss brought into work for me. I literally felt like Remy from Ratatouille when he brought in the fresh produce. My first thought was to make a killer tomato basil sauce, but I couldn’t bare the thought of mashing up the fresh produce. I’m a dork, I know. I was stuck between deciding to make a Caprese salad or tomato basil bruschetta, but since I didn’t have any mozzarella on hand I decided to make bruschetta with fresh French bread, garlic and tomatoes and basil. Bruschetta is an appetizer I have grown up making with my mom and it always left our family satisfied. The appetizer turned out wonderfully, except for the fact that I forgot to turn down my faulty and reliable oven down 25º. Soooo it was a little more burnt than I would have liked, but it was still fantastic.
(Adapted from Simply Recipes)
- 1 French baguette
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4-5 Heirloom tomatoes (or Roma)
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 6-8 fresh chopped basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Parboil the tomatoes by putting the tomatoes in a boiling pot of water for 1-2 minutes. Carefully remove the skins of the tomatoes and then cut into quarters. Chop the garlic and basil leaves and combine in a bowl with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat the oven to 450ºF (or 425º if you have a faulty oven). Slice the bread diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices. Using a pastry brush, coat the olive oil on one side of the bread and place face down on parchment paper. Toast in the oven for 5 minutes.
Spoon a generous amount of the tomatoes onto each bread slice and arrange on a plate.