Your best bruschetta?
- Tom P May 25, 2011 11:00 AM
Looking for some recipes... traditional with tomatoes or something different. Any ideas are welcomed!
I don't measure when I make mine anymore, but the secret is that I make it the night before and let it sit overnight for the flavors to develop. Makes a super yummy bruschetta.
Other tips: I'm a huge garlic fan, so I add lot of fresh chopped garlic to my version.
I love traditional bruschetta, but made with oven roasted tomatoes rather than raw. The oven roasting intensifies their flavor and sweetness. I usually use cherry tomatoes, but plum are fine too - just toss with olive oil (halve if using plums), add chopped garlic, roast at 400 until caramelized and the juices are reduced, then chop if necessary and mix with more oil, some raw garlic if you like, fresh basil, salt and pepper. Also, topping the tomato mixture with a dollop of homemade ricotta cheese increases the deliciousness factor by about 100x. I also like to do pesto with ricotta and just a little tomato as an accent.
I learned how to make this in cooking classes I did in Italy in the mid-80's. I've never had any I liked more. All ingredients should be the best quality you can find/afford.
Sturdy Italian bread (I've had success with thick-sliced baguettes as well)
2 or 3 large garlic cloves, sliced in half horizontally
perfectly ripe, homegrown tomatoes in season, de-seeded and diced
fresh basil leaves, chopped
good quality olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
Have all ingredients ready before beginning. Toast the bread. When it is ready, immediately rub each side of the bread a few times with the cut side of a garlic clove. Spoon a tablespoon or two of tomatoes on each slice of bread. Sprinkle with basil. Drizzle with oil. Add a bit of salt and a grinding of pepper. Serve immediately.
That is my favorite approach, too. Rubbing the garlic cloves (rather than physically including them) gives a terrific garlic flavor, very fresh but not overpowering.
I second the suggestions downthread for bean and caponata approaches. A mixture of goat cheese and/or feta, chopped olives and herbs with olive oil is also great.
My favorite traditional one:
Saute garlic in a good amount of olive oil until just starting to brown. Dip one side of an untoasted slice of good Italian bread or baguette. Top with a mixture of chopped tomatoes (I also use cherry or even grape), seasoned w/ salt and pepper, chopped fresh basil and a glug of red wine vinegar. Sprinkle good parmiggiano or pecorino romano and pop in a 350 oven until the bread starts to brown. I also definitely agree with the ricotta rec.
This time of year, before tomatoes are really great, I cut them up and roast them with sliced shallots in a good deal of salt and pepper. I stir in some chiffonaded basil then pile that on my toasted slices of bread. Crumble some goat cheese on top and throw back in the oven for a minute to soften the cheese. It's a good solution for when your tomatoes aren't fully ready for raw eating.
My best bruschetta requires sun-ripened tomatoes and is preferably consumed on the porch of the house we rent on LI. Here's how we do it:
Take some vine-ripened tomatoes that are bright red, but still firm. Cut them in half around the middle, and gently squeeze out the seeds. Chop in relatively small pieces and put in a bowl. Add finely sliced and then chopped red onion, as well as finely torn basil leaves. Dress with olive oil, then salt and then a whisper of red wine vinegar. Cut slices of the best country bread you can get. If there is a place you know that sells Poilaine, get that. Slice the bread and toast on both sides -- preferably on the grill, but the broiler will do. Rub one side of the bread with a garlic clove. Heap with the tomato mixture, pour yourself a fresh-fruit daiquiri, read your book, put your feet up, and eat the bruschetta. You've just created summer.