Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Really simple bruschetta

It's heirloom tomato season! This is very exciting for me because some of my favorite simple dishes become much better with heirloom tomatoes. It's time for bruschetta, caprese, and panzanella (bread salad). Even my old Chinese home cooking staple, tomato and egg, is better with heirloom tomatoes.

First, allow me to give a lesson on pronunciation. Italians pronounce "ch" as a "k" sound. So to properly pronounce bruschetta, it should be sounded out as "broo-skeh'-ta". It's not pronounced "broo-sheh'-ta" like everyone in America says. As for the definition of bruschetta? It's a toasted bread with olive oil and garlic.

Anyway, heirloom tomatoes can be really expensive, up to $5 / lb at Whole Foods and Safeway. Don't buy them there! To save money, go to your local farmer's market. On one visit to my local farmer's market, it was $3 / lb. My coworker was able to find some for 75 cents / lb at her farmer's market! What a deal! She was kind enough to buy some for me.

My wife wanted to eat something simple, so I thought of bruschetta. It seems like most of these simple tomato recipes call for a combination of the same ingredients: tomatoes, bread, basil, mozzarella, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. It's crazy the number of dishes you can make with just those ingredients!

Anyway, I promised it would be simple, so here you go!

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
1 baguette (wife is partial to Acme...), sliced
2 medium sized heirloom tomatoes, small dice
10 leaves basil, chiffonade (thinly sliced into ribbons)
1 clove garlic, sliced in half
extra virgin olive oil
salt (preferably sea salt--I like Maldon)
  1. Brush olive oil onto bread slices.
  2. Toast bread in a toaster oven until golden brown and delicious.
  3. Rub the cut half of a garlic clove on the toast.
  4. Sprinkle some salt lightly on the bread, set aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, combine tomatoes, basil, some olive oil, and salt.
  6. Spoon the tomato mixture on the toasted bread slices, and serve immediately.

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