I’m one quarter Italiano and have grown up savoring a variety of Italian dishes. I first tried bruschetta when I was nine or ten and it has remained one of the few dishes that includes tomatoes that I really love. I chose this dish as my first recipe because I’ve seen it made before and it seemed like a good jumping off point.
After exploring my family’s vast cupboard of cookbooks, I decided to go back to basics with William Sonoma’s Essentials of Italian cookbook. Of all the recipes I found, this seemed the most authentic. It was very straightforward; requiring only six ingredients. As I got everything I needed out and prepared, I thought this recipe would be too easy.
The recipe called for the tomatoes to be cored and seeded, both of which I had never attempted before. With some research, I found an easy way to accomplish this; first cut your tomato into four pieces and then take a 1/4 teaspoon and scoop out the seeds. I then tore the basil and added the salt; my tomato mixture was ready to go.
The recipe also called for the bread to be grilled but I chose to use the broiler feature in my oven instead. On my first try, my oven was too hot and the pan was too close to the top of the oven. My bread was badly burned and I started again. My second time, the bread turned a crispy golden brown, perfect to keep the bread from getting soggy later on. I rubbed the bread with garlic and was ready to plate!
Overall, I enjoyed the simplicity of this recipe. The flavors were fresh and I liked that the garlic was spread over the bread instead being minced with the tomato and basil. The touch of olive oil over the top was just the right amount. Instead of using large tomatoes, I used campari tomatoes which are slightly smaller and sweeter. With past recipes, the tomatoes have carried too much liquid and have softened the bread too much. By removing the seeds and crisping up the bread, this was avoided.
My reviewer gave this recipe a 7/10 and suggested adding a little more salt and trying a smaller bread. A lot of recipes today do call for baguette-sized pieces of bread and next time I might try that. Although I used 1/4 teaspoon of salt, next time I might make it a 1/2 teaspoon instead, for flavor. This recipe taught me knife skills, oven skills, and how to plate a dish. Give it a try, if you have any comments on the recipe, leave them below. Bon Appetit!
Adapted from Essentials of Italian
Makes 4 servings
4 campari tomatoes
8 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 slices course country bread, about 1/2 inch thick
2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees on the broiler setting. Core and seed tomatoes and cut into 1/2 inch dice. In a bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, and salt.
Place slices of bread on a foil lined baking sheet and place in the oven. Watch closely, they only take about a minute and a half per side.
Remove from the oven and immediately rub garlic on one side of each slice.
Arrange the bread slices, garlic side up, on a serving platter and spoon tomato mixture onto slices, dividing evenly. Drizzle with olive oil and serve.