Ripe tomatoes. Garlic. Basil. Ingredients for the perfect appetizer. Last weekend Tightwad had a food moment at a friend’s party. The reason? The bruschetta was:
1 1. Served with the tomato basil topping at room temperature, in a separate bowl
2. Served with a side of goat cheese
This was a complete turnaround from all of the previous bruschetta experiences Tightwad has had at similar events, and these two factors made it the best bruschetta EVER. The bread didn’t get soggy and was perfectly toasted and the addition of the goat cheese put it over the top. You may even have toppings left over for the perfect omelet in the morning – but it’s doubtful.
loaf, French bread
2 pints red and yellow grape tomatoes, halved
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/3-cup virgin olive oil, along with a tablespoon
10 or so basil leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar (regular is ok)
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
½ teaspoon red chili flakes
Make garlic oil. Mix 1/3-cup olive oil, 4 minced cloves of garlic, and ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes in a saucepan. Heat for about 1 minute (until you can smell the garlic) and TURN IT OFF and let it cool. You will probably not use all of this oil on the bruschetta. Keep it for pizzas or anything else that needs garlic and olive oil. So, basically anything.
Add the tomatoes, balsamic and basil to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss with a tablespoon or so of olive oil to combine, and taste and add more basil or salt is needed. If you have time it’s good to cover and let the mixture sit on the counter for an hour or so to really let the flavours mingle.
Usually Tightwad slices the bread on a bias to maximize surface area, but at this party the bread was not sliced on an angle. The benefit of this is: more slices, and easier to make the slices uniform in size. So, this is how she is going to slice her bread for bruschetta from now on. Place the slices in the oven on a sheet pan and broil until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes for the first side and 1 minute for the second side. Remove to a platter and rub each slice of bread (the top side) with your gorgeous garlic oil.
Serve on platter – side of goat cheese, bowl of divine tomato and basil mixture and your perfectly toasted garlic oil croutes.