The Classic Bruschetta

It’s been a while. Happy New Year!

Yesterday it felt like I never left the kitchen after a good hardy lunch.  I’m a clean freak, so upon tidying up, I started making my way to our compost bin with a loaf of old French baguette bread, but I had a change of heart.

Old French baguettes are perfect for cheesy, garlicky bread, as well as croutons.  I also haven’t made bruschetta for some time now, and this time I made it a little differently, semi-homemade to be exact.  It started as, ‘Okay, we’ll have these for afternoon snacks.’  Ten minutes later, they were all gone.

Ingredients (For the Tomatoes):

  • A can of organic diced tomatoes (Yes, you can use fresh tomatoes!  About two large, diced.)  Juice strained and saved for other uses if desired.
  • Four tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Three cloves of fresh garlic, peeled and finely chopped.
  • Fresh basil, thinly chopped.
  • Two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar.
  • One tablespoon of kosher or sea salt.
  • Pinch (or more) of red pepper flakes.

Recipe Preparation:

  1. In a medium glass jar or bowl, after removing the juices from the tomatoes, mix this with about four tablespoons (more or less) of olive oil.
  2. Add in the *fresh minced garlic, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and red pepper flakes.  With a spoon, toss to combine.
  3. Let this marinate in the refrigerator for about thirty minutes.

*If you don’t care for raw garlic, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan and saute the chopped garlic for about two minutes or so, then you can add it into the tomatoes.

Ingredients (For the Bread):

  • Loaf of old French baguette bread
  • Olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Preparation:

  1. Slice the bread diagonally and place them on a large baking pan.
  2. Sprinkle olive oil on each slice, followed by red pepper flakes, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
  3. Pre-heat oven to broil (or convection broil) at 500 degrees F.
  4. Place the pan on the top rack of the oven and heat it for about two minutes; then rotate the pan and heat it for another two minutes.  You are looking for golden brown crispy bread.

Once the bread has cooled off, top these with the tomato marinade.  Enjoy!