Monday, September 19, 2011

Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Whole Grain Bread

Ever have one of those appetizers that make you wish you hadn’t ordered your main dish? It tastes so good; you just can’t stop eating it. I’m sure you’re familiar with the type…do I have to mention chips and salsa…bread baskets…Cheddar Bay Biscuits (why do you torture me, Red Lobster?)…or really any kind of bread and dip combo? Bruschetta is one of those appetizers, and this is especially true during the summer when tomatoes are ripe, vibrant, and full of flavor. Last night was no exception. Since we had so much bread left over from our shopping trip a few days ago, I decided to whip up these scrumptious toasted treats to go with dinner. Needless to say, we had a lot of leftovers today from the main course!

Getting Started

In my experience, it’s best to use denser bread. I’ve found that when I use something lighter (usually has a lot of air pockets in it), the texture of the bruschetta almost takes on a stale feeling. I chose a whole wheat bread in this case, but you can choose your preference. 

Start by slicing the bread (a little thinner than regular bread slices) and drizzling both sides with olive oil; if you are using pre-sliced bread, that’s fine too. Brown both sides of the bread slices in a skillet or grill pan over medium heat, then set aside. While the bread is browning, slice the tomatoes and basil and toss with salt and 1/2-1 tsp olive oil. When the bread slices have cooled slightly, rub one side with the whole garlic, and top with the tomato mixture.


Wrapping it up

Bruschetta is a lovely item to make; not only is it beautiful and full of flavor, but it’s also incredibly quick and easy to prepare. It’s sure to be a big hit at the dinner table or your next get together.

Ingredients

4 slices bread
1/2 package grape tomatoes, or 1 large fruit stand tomato
5-6 basil leaves, rolled up and cut into strips
Coarse salt to taste
Olive oil for tomato mixture and coating bread slices
1 clove garlic, peeled and left whole

Servings: 2-4


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