Italian Tomato Bruschetta Recipe
During our trip to Florence, we were able to cook a few meals at home, sampling local ingredients. We lived right in the heart of Firenze and while preparing dinner, I sent my husband Lulu out to find a rustic bread. He ended up in a "panificio" (bread bakery) and asked the baker for his most popular bread. Lulu came home with a giant loaf of Tuscan-style bread, which I sliced into thick, crusty pieces and prepared bruschetta.
Bruschetta basically consists of grilled bread rubbed with fresh garlic and topped with tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper. I upped the flavors with roasted garlic and loads of fresh basil.
Yields: 18 appetizers1 loaf artisan bread, sliced in 9 thick, even slices
1 head garlic, halved lengthwise
4 tablespoons puréed roasted garlic (click on the link for the recipe), total of 3 fresh heads of garlic
5 large heirloom tomatoes, coarsely chopped
½ bunch flat-leaf parsley (optional), chopped
¼ cup sweet basil, chopped
⅓ cup olive oil
2½ teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly ground
For the toasted bread: Heat a large pan with 2-3 tablespoons oil. Place the pieces of bread in the hot oil. Let sit for about 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely toasted. Remove from the pan. Rub the slices of bread against the fresh garlic. Gather 3 cloves of fresh garlic and finely mince it.
For the tomatoes: In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, the minced fresh garlic, salt, black pepper and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix well. Adjust seasoning.
Let the bread cool, then cover each piece of bread with a very thin layer of the squeezed roasted garlic spread.
Add parsley (if using) and basil to the tomato mixture. Mix well. Top the bread with the tomatoes. Drizzle with more olive oil.
Serve at room temperature.
Slightly toasting the bread prevents the "tartines" from getting too soggy, even when a moist topping is added.
If you have a big gathering, grill the bread in advance. Store in a zip-top bag and spread the topping about 30 minutes before serving.
You can store the leftover roasted garlic by squeezing the puréed garlic out of skins, placing it in a container and covering with oil.
Published By: on June 19, 2014.