Saturday, August 07, 2021


 Although my tomatoes are still about a week away from being ripe, this is really the time of year to enjoy fresh tomatoes in the Northern Hemisphere. I have yet to meet anyone who isn't allergic to fresh tomatoes who doesn't love bruschetta once served them. If you can, use heirloom tomatoes for the best flavor. You can often find them at the market as well as the farmer's market at this time of year.

You start with a baguette or other good bread, then brush with olive oil and toast. The best part is the tomato mixture which uses fresh tomatoes, fresh basil and fresh garlic. Unless you roast the garlic before making the tomato mixture, you will have strong garlic breath but I think it's worth it for the punch of flavors which go so well with the crunch of toasted bread.

If you have time, make the tomato mixture a day ahead and let it sit in the fridge so the flavors really mingle. The time to top the toasted bread is right before you plan to serve these. That way the toast stays crunchy. These make a wonderful appetizer. If you combine them with a green salad that includes some beans and corn, you have a complete meal and lots of deliciousness. Try it with some cooked Rancho Gordo beans and fresh corn, lightly steamed and cut off the cob. A taste of summer with the bruschetta!

Bruschetta for Two

4-6 1/2-inch slices baguette or other flavorful, firm bread
1 medium to large fresh, ripe tomato, preferably heirloom
1 tablespoon best quality olive oil
1 clove garlic or roasted garlic
3-4 leaves fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste

Brush the bread with olive oil. Toast the bread slices to a golden brown color. If possible, use a grill to toast them.

Chop the tomato into very small dice and place in a medium bowl, keeping as much tomato juice as possible with the tomatoes. Add the olive oil, mince the garlic and add, finely chop the basil and add it to the bowl.

Stir the tomato, oil, garlic and basil together. If possible, cover and let sit in the fridge for 2 to 24 hours. 

When you are ready to serve the bruschetta, warm the toasts, place them on the serving platter and top each with about a tablespoon of the tomato mixture, including some of the juices. If you have a few tiny basil leaves you can garnish the bruschetta with them. Add salt and pepper to taste...although you may not need any. Serve at once.

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