08 July 2012

Neglected Sunday Bruschetta

Thanks to my trip to Ft. Worth to see Amy (and baby Roman!) and a stop at the newest Trader Joe's in Texas, I've had a beautifully hearty basil plant to put to good use, which turned my typically volatile Sunday meal schedule into something haphazardly delicious. (and also thanks to Tyler making a wonderful chicken/avocado salad to go with it) 

Since I've never made Bruschetta before, I browsed a few recipe sites until I had a pretty good idea of what it would look like.  I think I came up with something pretty good and want to share it with you.  I ended up cooking the finished product on 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes which turned the bread nice and crispy and roasted the tomatoes but you could also just toast the bread and have "raw" tomatoes piled on top. 

Simple Bruschetta:

1 pint cherry tomatoes (red or yellow, or a combination for color)
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar*
1/4 teaspoon each kosher salt/black pepper
handful of basil leaves, chopped
fresh mozzarella cheese (optional)

Mix all together and let sit while you slice a medium-sized loaf of french bread, diagonally.
If using mozzarella cheese, place one small slice on each slice of bread and then pile tomato mixture on the slices of bread, about 2 tablespoons for each slice.  If you are tempted to butter the bread, go for it!  Or you could use some extra virgin olive oil spray and make it a little more heart-healthy.  Pop it in the oven, take out 10-15 minutes later, and enjoy!


*balsamic vinegar is a specialty from Modena, Italy and used as a condiment rather than a salad dressing.  The quality and price vary greatly.  For everyday use, choose a medium priced-vinegar, preferably labeled "di Modena".  Avoid the cheap balsamic vinegar, which is typically enhanced with caramel coloring.  (note on caramel coloring: it is made by heating a solution of various sugars, often together with ammonium compounds, acids, or alkalis.  It is the most widely used coloring added to foods and beverages, typically to make them look more appealing and as an unnecessary flavor "enhancer" Yikes!)  I fortunately found a bottled labeled "Aceto Balsamico di Modena I.G.P." at Trader Joe's-8.5 oz for $4.99 with no caramel coloring and it went great with this recipe. 

Coming soon on Afterburners and Aprons:
*Our week-long 4th of July celebration (including the dessert and recipe I made!)
*One of my staples-homemade crock-pot refried beans (without the refry)

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