Saturday, August 7, 2010


Hot summer afternoons, when the tomatoes are ripe and the air is heavy, are the perfect time for this fresh Italian appetizer.  After my post on Facebook, I  had several questions and one phone call about how I  make this summer treat.

Really, most any recipe will do.  The important factors are fresh ingredients and dry, crisp, seasoned toast.   I grow my own tomatoes, basil and parsley to get the best flavors.  To these ingredients I add red onion and garlic.

Cut the tomatoes into small pieces after you have seeded them (cutting them into quarters and using your finger to remove the seed pods.)  Chop up everything else and place in a bowl with some good olive oil and a little vinegar.  I use either balsamic or red wine vinegar.  A little salt and pepper and you are ready to go.

I generally purchase the toasts (garlic and cheese seasoned) at the local Italian produce shop.  I  place these on a cookie sheet and put a very thin slice of mozzarella cheese on each.  Then I bake them in a 400F over for five minutes. Remove and let them cool for five minutes while you prepare cocktails.  The mozzarella cheese is probably not common, but I like to add it as it stops the toasts from crumbling into pieces when you bite into the bruschetta and it also adds a nice flavor.

Using a tablespoon I top each toast with the tomato mixture and then a little shaved Parmesan cheese for both effect and flavor.  These little gems are always popular and taste so good and fresh in the summer time.

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