A Recipe for Tomato Bruschetta
Several weeks ago, the priest from our home parish decided to take a very well-deserved vacation. In his absence, we decided to attend the services at another familiar parish just outside of town. The priest at this parish, along with his wife, had prepared a bruschetta for the coffee hour following the Liturgy using tomatoes, garlic, and basil that they had grown themselves. I loved it, and wanted to make it myself.
- 🍅 Five medium, ripe tomatoes
- 🧄 Five whole cloves of garlic
- 🌿 Six large basil leaves
- 🫒 Extra virgin olive oil
- ⚱️ Balsamic vinaigrette
- 🍞 Bread (Italian loaf, baguette, etc.)
How to Make It
- Begin by cutting your tomatoes into small pieces, each being roughly the size of the distalmost section of your index finger. Place all of these pieces into a large bowl. Be sure to get as much of the tomato juice into the bowl as possible.
- Add 2tbsp of olive oil to the bowl.
- Add 1tbsp of balsamic vinaigrette to the bowl.
- Add ~1/2tbsp of salt to the bowl. Stir. Allow the bowl to rest for 15-30 minutes.
- In a cast-iron skillet, add five finely-minced cloves of garlic and a touch of olive oil to keep it from sticking to the pan. Put the heat on a low setting and let the garlic brown slightly. This will help to take some of the bite out of the garlic and give it a more relaxed taste. Pay close attention to the garlic during this process – it will cook VERY quickly. After the garlic is browned to your liking, add it to the bowl and stir.
- Take six large basil leaves and cut them into small slices. Add them to the bowl and stir again.
- Slice your bread as desired. When working with an Italian loaf, I like to cut each slice in half, diagonally. Serving with a baguette, slice to your desired thickness on the bias.
- Place the bread into the same pan that you just used to fry the garlic. Add a touch of olive oil to keep the bread from sticking. Traditionally, the bread is toasted over charcoal, nearly black – but I like to toast it to a nice, even golden-brown. You decide how thoroughly the bread is to be toasted.
- Remove the bread from the pan and place onto a wire rack to keep it from getting soggy. Some people like to take a whole clove of garlic and rub it onto each piece of bread while it’s still hot, allowing the garlic to melt into the bread; that’s up to you.
- With a tablespoon, take a small amount of juice from the bowl and place it onto the bread. Then, cover the entire piece of bread with a few spoonfulls of the bruschetta.