Saturday, October 8, 2011
Double Tomato Bruschetta
At a recent opening night party for work we were treated to a spread of savory Italian finger foods. The highlight of the Mediterranean treats was the bruschetta bar. Large bowls of lightly toasted bread headed a table filled with about half a dozen varieties of tasty toppings. I was itching to have an excuse to set up something similar. Double tomato bruschetta is the first of the three I treated out guests to on the chosen night.
Adapted from Laurie Thompson's recipe at Allrecipes.com
for the toasts:
1-2 day old baguettes
for the topping:
6 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
For the toasts:
Preheat the oven to 450.
Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Arrange slices in a single layer on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. Place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.
Allow to cool.
for the topping:
In a medium bowl combine the two types of tomato, garlic, oil, vingear and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Arrange toasted bread on a serving platter. Carefully top each slice with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. Alternatively, set the toasts in a large basket at the table alongside a serving dish of the tomato mixture and allow guests to create their own bruschetta.
The sun-dried tomato added a deep and slightly sweet taste that brought a pleasant and rich tomato flavor to their anemic Roma relations. The vinegar likewise added a sweet hint, making me wish I had added just a touch more salt to balance the flavors out.
These little toasts could just as easily be finished off with a touch of mozzarella and a minute or two under the broiler, but with people coming and going the serve yourself bruschetta bar seemed to result in much fresher flavors. And no soggy toasts were to be found from bread topped too soon. Overall this double tomato bruschetta was a big hit, though not the favorite of the evening.