One of my favorite things about summer is the abundance of fresh, ripe tomatoes. While summer isn’t quite here just yet, the tomatoes at our local supermarket have been showing some promise–enough that I took a chance on them and went ahead and made some Bruschetta.
Bruschetta is actually one of the very first things that David and I started to make when he moved into his first apartment and we started cooking. The tricky part is that our Bruschetta is one of those “a little of this, a little of that” kind of recipes. I’m going to do my best to capture it below.
Fresh Tomato Bruschetta with Pannetini
- Tomatoes (Roma tomatoes, if available)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Minced Garlic
- Fresh Basil
- Salt & Pepper
- Parmesan Cheese
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes (optional – can be dry-packed or oil-packed, diced)
- Garlic Bread, thinly-sliced & toasted (other options include crackers, toasted Italian or French bread, or Panetini. The Panetini can be found at your grocery store, near the Bakery, with the bagel chips).
- Seed and dice the tomatoes and put into a bowl with Olive Oil & Balsamic Vinegar. The exact amounts depend on how many tomatoes you use, but for about 10 servings, I use about 10 full size tomatoes, with ½ Cup of Olive Oil & 3 or 4 Tablespoons of Balsamic.
- Add sun-dried tomatoes.
- Add approximately 3 cloves of garlic, minced.
- The basil needs to be chopped very finely or minced in a food processor (I have also used what we call “Basil Paste,” which you can find in your produce department with the little clamshell packages of fresh herbs).
- Add the parmesan cheese…about ½ Cup to ¾ Cup.
- Then, just mix together and add salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
- Serve with the bread, crackers, or Panetini for dipping.
I don’t really measure as much as I mix and taste, until it comes out right. If your tomatoes are very acidic, a Tablespoon of regular table sugar added to the mix (strange as it sounds) will go a long way. You can add more or less balsamic vinegar, depending on your taste. The ingredients themselves can be very forgiving…the Parmesan can be anything from imported Parmigiano-Reggiano to the stuff in the green can for this, though I prefer the real stuff. Same with the basil…if you want to use dried basil, you can. It won’t taste quite as bright, but it will work. You need much less dry basil than fresh. The bruschetta gets better the longer it gets to hang out, so making it the night before is best, but give it at least 30 minutes to an hour before eating, if you can.
Leftovers can be mixed with canned chicken to make an Italian Chicken Salad, put over
lettuce for a Bruschetta Salad, or put over cooked pasta to make a pasta sauce. You can also add diced fresh mozzarella if you want. (Like I did for this batch).