recipe: simple bruschetta.
I guess I’m on a tomato kick. Ever since I ate my first BLT the other day, I’ve just wanted to full immerse myself in the world of tomatoes. This past weekend, my husband and I went on our babycation – we stayed at a local B&B down the road from our house (literally, like 5 minutes away) – the B&B consisted of two houses on one of the historic neighborhoods near our downtown area. The particular house we stayed at was built in 1916. In the middle of the two B&B houses is an Italian restaurant. We’re not big on chain restaurants so for our special dinner, we thought we’d try this place. We ordered the bruschetta appetizer plus some main dishes. And you know what? We were disappointed with the appetizer:
There was hardly any tomatoes on the bread (which was soggy French bread). The olives were an okay touch (I gave the red onions to my hubby). But what got us the most was the overpowering taste of balsamic vinegar. It took away from the taste of the tomatoes (that were lacking, anyway) and olive oil. We recalled a restaurant we ate at in Port Angeles several years ago for our anniversary – we had the best bruschetta there.
Anyways, I’ve had a hankering for bruschetta ever since this weekend so on my way home from work today, I stopped by the local bakery to pick up some good bread (half a loaf of sliced semolina parmesan) and at my new favorite grocer to pick up some locally grown tomatoes and basil. I knew dinner would be tomato basil soup (defrosted from a batch I made several weeks ago) so I wasn’t sure if eating bruschetta as our appetizer would be overkill. My husband didn’t mind one bit. After looking online for a simple bruschetta recipe, I noticed the myriad of variations. I just kind of threw this together and we both enjoyed it immensely. My husband even declared it delicious and better than what we ate at the Italian restaurant this weekend. I’m a happy wife.
Simple Bruschetta (serves 2)
- two large plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 12-15 basil leaves, sliced thinly (or torn into small pieces)
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil (and extra for the bread)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- coarsely ground black pepper
- kosher salt
- block of parmesan cheese
- 4-6 slices of good bread (I’m sorry I didn’t keep count), torn into 2-3 inch pieces
- garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Brush each piece of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with some garlic powder. Set aside. When the oven is hot enough, place the bread on a cookie sheet and lightly toast, for maybe 5-10 minutes (I wasn’t watching the time closely, though I did look in the oven to see how the bread was browning).
2. Combine diced tomatoes, sliced basil leaves, olive oil and garlic – mix gently until combined.
3. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
4. When the bread is lightly browned, remove the cookie sheet from the oven. Spoon the tomato mixture onto each piece of bread. Freshly grate some parmesan cheese over the bread and tomatoes and put the cookie sheet back in the oven for 2 minutes. Remove from oven when done and serve bruschetta immediately.
Feel free to add your own spin to this recipe. Really it’s more of a guideline (for me, at least). Add some balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar, if you want. Or more garlic! The sky’s the limit. Sort of, hehe.
On another food note, I’ve been making a mental list of things I will consume after baby boy is born. Such as: frozen, self-serve yogurt, a Lambec and Chilean blue mussels (a local restaurant carries this appetizer and it is AMAZING). My father-in-law sent me a picture of moules (maybe a kind of mussel?) that he and my mother-in-law ate at a restaurant on the Isle of Wight recently:
Ahh, shellfish. This preggo brain of mine cannot stop thinking about mussels, especially the Chilean ones I just mentioned – it comes with this delicious broth and artichoke pieces and french bread on the side, so you can sop up the broth. So good! Anyways, I’ve got only 3 more weeks to go (hopefully) before baby boy is here, as of this Saturday. Can you believe I will be full term (37 weeks) so soon? I am ready to hug and kiss my baby (and ready to eat these mussels!).