Bruschetta with tomato and basil! Chopped fresh tomatoes with garlic, basil, olive oil, and vinegar, served on toasted slices of French or Italian bread.
- 6 or 7 ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 6-8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced* or chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more or less to taste
Blanch and peel the tomatoes
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. As the water is heating make shallow cuts in a cross pattern at the tip ends of the tomatoes (this will make the tomatoes easier to peel).
- Once the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat. Put the tomatoes in the hot water and blanch for 1 minute.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and let sit until cool enough to handle. Then gently peel off the tomato skins. Cut out the stem base with a paring knife.
- Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and squeeze out most of the juices and seeds.
- Preheat oven to 450°F (230°C) with a rack in the top slot of the oven.
Prepare Bruschetta Mix
- Finely chop the tomatoes and place them in a medium bowl.
- Mix in the minced garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar.
- Stir in the thinly sliced basil and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more to taste. Note, tomatoes love salt; you may need to add more than you expect.
Toast the baguette slices
- Use a bread knife to slice the baguette on the diagonal making half-inch thick slices. Brush one side of each slice with olive oil (a pastry brush helps here) and place olive oil-side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan.
- The baguette slices will toast best in the top rack of your oven, so you may need to work in batches to toast them all.
- When the oven has reached 450°F (230°C) place the slices in the oven on the top rack and toast for 5 to 6 minutes until lightly browned around the edges.
Serve toasted bread with tomato mixture
- Arrange the toasted bread on a platter, olive oil side facing up (the olive oil will help create a temporary barrier keeping the bread from getting soggy from the chopped tomatoes).
- Either serve the toasts plain with a bowl of the tomato bruschetta mixture on the side for people to top their own, or use a spoon to gently top each toasted bread slice with some of the tomato mixture.
- If you top each slice individually, do it right before serving.