I’ve been trying to get this post up for the past week….but family vacations have a way of distracting us a bit!! We are off on our long awaited 10 day Disney vacation….planned and saved for this past year, but had to wait on daddy to get the time off work. It was an unexpected surprise two weeks ago when he found some time, and just in time for our oldest daughter’s 11th birthday!! What a great way to spend any birthday….Magic Kingdom. And the little one…..newly minted “2 year old” is more in love with Mickey and Minnie than ever. Seems like we are fostering a love of Disney for years to come!!!
On to the bruschetta…….
1 package of Campari tomatoes from Costco, diced small (about 12 medium tomatoes)
1/4 red onion, diced
2/3 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 heaping tsp minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
a splash of good quality balsamic vinegar (1 T?)
fresh basil leaves, diced finely
sea salt & pepper to taste
1 baguette-style loaf (Italian or french) sliced thinly
This was my very first attempt at making bruschetta. I didn’t use a recipe; rather I tried to recreate the one from the Italian restaurant I work at two nights a week. It’s an authentic Italian restaurant…including the owners…a sweet young married Italian couple, raised by Italians and have always been in the restaurant business. It’s neat to hear Italian spoken freely. The meals are prepared fresh….all fresh ingredients and fresh seafood. They don’t even have a freezer in their restaurant. I love it! Their bruschetta is made with about 1/3 yellow tomatoes if you have access to those.
I have to admit being more than a little nervous as I prepared to dice those tomatoes. I knew I was soon going to encounter the seeds and the mush that I fear. But I was committed to this….knowing that all the yummy flavors I was adding would help to disguise that tomato taste. So I dove right in….dicing and scooping out the mush as so many food blogger friends had challenged me to do. I was even brave enough to leave a bit of it intact, knowing it would blend in with the garlic and other goodies.
Blend all ingredients thoroughly. The amounts are as close as I could get…feel free to add or subtract as you see fit. The main thing I know is the olive oil to lemon juice ratio is 2 parts to 1 part. Refrigerate….several hours later, the flavors are the best. I wasn’t sure how long this would keep in the fridge (anyone know??), but it was still very tasty (and didn’t poison me) up to 5 days later when I added it onto my pizza.
For the baguette…..slice thinly and toast both sides till crisp (known as crostini). I wanted more flavor so I melted a stick of butter and dipped each slice in butter and then sprinkled it with garlic salt….think garlic bread! YUM!! Serve each crostini (meaning “little crusts” in Italian) with a scoop of bruschetta, topped with more fresh basil. A bit of balsamic reduction puts it over the top! I can highly recommend it to those that fear tomatoes! Even my hubby loved it….and if you remember he’s squeamish about tomatoes too!