Bruschetta

Fresh tomatoes, garlic, oregano, basil…it’s that magical combination that screams Italian appetizer. This recipe can be prepared in minutes if you have a few tomatoes. It’s best, of course, in the summer months when NJ tomatoes are at their peak.   Once you start eating this tomato mix you won’t be able to stop, especially if you are enjoying it with pita chips or the traditional way over toasted bread. You can also use it over grilled fish or chicken. Both basil and oregano work as the herb, but the oregano really adds a great flavor.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes (roma, heirloom, beefsteak…whatever is in season is best)
  • 1/2 fresh onion
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh basil or oregano, or combination of the two
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS

Using a sharp knife, dice the tomatoes as small as you can.  Aim for 1/4″ cubes and try to mush or break the tomatoes as little as possible. Next, finely chop the onion and add it into the bowl. If you’re opposed to using raw onions, you can also lightly sauté the chopped onion in a frying pan with a little bit of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.  It adds a sweeter deeper flavor to the bruschetta, and is an excellent variation to this recipe. Next, chop the fresh garlic and add it to the bowl.

Add in some fresh basil or oregano (or both) to taste.  There is no “right” amount- just keep adding until desired taste. You can always add more at the end. Add in the extra virgin olive oil, salt, and fresh ground pepper and mix the ingredients thoroughly.  If you’ve got the time, let the mixture sit for 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Cut 1/4″ thick slices of fresh Italian bread or baguette and toast them in a toaster, or under the broiler, if you’ve got a big batch.  Once the bread is good and toasted, remove it from the oven and use a pastry brush to paint each slice of bread with olive oil.  Then, using half a hunk of raw garlic, rub one side of the crusty slices down to impart some delicious garlic flavor directly onto the bread.  Finally, pile as much of the bruschetta as possible onto the freshly toasted bread, serve, and enjoy!

 

 

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