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BackstoryWhen it comes to Italian cuisine, nothing starts off a meal like bruschetta. The simple flavors of good bread, quality olive oil and a hint of garlic makes it the perfect appetizer. Naturally, it also makes for a great foundation to top with meats, cheeses and various spreads. For our recent Tuscan Grill Party, Grilled Tomato Bruschetta was a must for our menu. We also wanted to include some other toppings so I also made a White Bean Bruschetta along with a dipping oil mixed with fig balsamic vinegar and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. The trio of toppings was a delicious way to serve up grilled bread and good enough to be a meal in of itself!...
When it comes to simple foods, it's important to really focus on quality. In this case, bruschetta is essentially roasted or toasted bread that's been rubbed with fresh garlic and seasoned with salt and pepper. Having good quality bread to begin with makes all the difference! Toppings run the gamut but most often, you'll find it topped with a mixture of chopped fresh tomatoes, garlic and basil. For the bruschetta we prepared, we grilled it until slightly toasted, immediately rubbed each toasted slice with garlic and kept it warm in a covered bread basket. The toppings were bright, fresh and flavorful, each offering a different texture to keep things interesting. Below are the recipes we made and each were only enhanced by good, quality bread...
- 8 chopped ripe roma (plum) tomatoes
- 5 leaves chopped fresh basil
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 pinch of dried oregano
- 1 dash of crushed red pepper
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground black pepper
- 2-3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf of Italian-style (or French) bread, cut into diagonal slices
- In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, oregano, red pepper, salt, pepper and olive oil. Use more olive oil, if necessary, to coat the entire mixture. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes for flavors to blend.
- In the meantime, preheat the grill. Arrange the slices of bread in a single layer over a medium-hot grill and grill both sides slightly. Remove the slices from the grill. Rub the halved garlic cloves over the hot bread and top with the tomato mixture and serve.