Tuesday, April 17, 2012

FRESH TOMATO BRUSCHETTA

This is a lovely bruschetta recipe packed with flavor.  Fresh tomatoes, enough garlic to keep away the vampires, and a mixture of fresh herbs that gives a je ne sais quoi character to the dish, something that all good appetizers should have. There is lots of fresh basil, and there's parsley and oregano, too. This is the first time I've made bruschetta.  I served it as part of an array of appetizers for our Easter dinner.  I must have checked out about 50 different bruschetta recipes on the Internet before I came up with my own version.  I decided to give it a Greek twist by adding some Kalamata olives, and then, at the last minute, I decided to throw in some capers and some Locatelli brand pecorino-romano cheese.  That's probably my favorite cheese next to feta.  I could top brownies with that cheese, and they would taste better, that's how much I like it.   
The final version of the recipe did not disappoint. I am now ashamed to admit that I have often bought jarred varieties of tomato bruschetta.  After tasting how wonderfully flavorful this fresh, homemade version was, there is no way I'll ever go back to store bought.  I am a convert.  I loved it, we all loved it!!! Plus, it's really easy to make.  Here's my recipe:
Ingredients:

  • 6 plum tomatoes 
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar 
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
  • a few Kalamata olives, and and a few sun-dried olives, pitted and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated Pecorino Romano cheese  
  • salt and pepper to taste
The garlic, baked in bread, gives off a subtle flavor
  • 1 or two loaves roasted garlic bread cut into slices for serving (the bread can be stale and it can be cut into slices ahead of time.  Just store it in a plastic bag until ready to use)
  • goat cheese, enough to cover the bread slices you will be using 

Directions:
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and remove the seeds. Rinse them under cold running water so that all the seeds are gone, and then dry them with paper towels. Once the tomatoes are dry, dice them up.    
  • Make a dressing by mixing the olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. 
  • In a medium sized bowl mix all the other ingredients except the bread and cheese.
  • Top with the dressing and stir to mix.
  • Set aside for about 3-4 hours.  Do not refrigerate.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Right before the bruschetta is to be served, place the bread slices in the oven and toast them half way through.
  • While the bread is toasting slice the goat cheese.  Take the bread out of the oven, top it with the goat cheese and then place it back in the oven so that it can finish toasting and the cheese can start to melt.
  • Take the bread slices out of the oven and top them with the bruschetta.   
  • Arrange them on a platter and serve.
Sorry... I can't show you the bruschetta platter because I didn't take a picture of it.  By the time I remembered to grab my camera, the appetizers were gone! The next day I toasted a slice of bread, melted some goat cheese on it and topped it with a some tomato bruschetta that was left over.  It still tasted good.  I enjoyed biting into my crunchy slice of bread, and I savored the medley of fresh herbs and vegetables that made up my delicious treat. 

3 comments:

  1. I don't know about cheese on brownies, but your bruschetta look delicious. It reminds me of summer.

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  2. Oh, Ana! You're making me hungry looking at this gorgeous bruschetta! It's been ages since I've made or eaten it, but now I'm craving it. Beautiful! No wonder it was gone in no time flat. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. Hi Ana, your bruschetta sounds and looks delicious. Locatelli cheese on brownies? Probably. Locatelli brand grated cheese is the best. Who introduced you to that cheese, I wonder…

    Growing up in Upper Darby, there was a little store up the corner. It was called the Highland Park Deli. It was right across the street from our grade school. Family owned, by Italians, of course. So they sold Locatelli cheese by weight. Right out of a jar with no name on it. It just sat on a shelf.

    My mom was from Newfoundland, Canada, and I still can’t figure out how she knew about Locatelli cheese. If we were having macaronis for dinner she used to send me to the deli after school, and tell me to ask for a quarter pound of Locatelli. I would say, “mom what is that?” She would say, "just tell them you want a quarter pound of Locatelli cheese. The man will know what it is." Sure enough, I was fascinated, he would pull the jar down, get a plastic bag, fill it, weigh it, I would pay him and skip on home.

    They sure were some good macaronis we had for dinner.

    So, thumbs up on Bruschetta with Locatelli. By the way, you can purchase it online, just Google it. There are many, many grated cheeses out there, but I think it is very important that to purchase a brand you like.

    Locatelli, we were raised on it, my mom and dad's favorite!

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