Ah, summer. It’s right around the corner.
I can taste it in the store-bought tomatoes that remind me how much better our garden fresh tomatoes will be.
But we can be patient.
As our Pittsburgh spring carries on, all we can think about here is the garden and the grill and all the evenings we’ll soon be spending outside. With that comes all of our favorite recipes for fresh produce from the garden- especially the boat loads of tomatoes that are sure to come. Bruschetta is my favorite way to use our tomatoes and basil. Feeling extra lazy last weekend, I decided not to carefully scoop out little mounds of tomatoes onto each carefully sliced italian bread crostini and just go for a heaping mound that Brandon and I could pull apart as we wished.
Never goin’ back.
Here’s the recipe:
Tomato Basil Pull-Apart Bruschetta
5-6 Ripe Tomatoes
3 cloves of garlic, minced
20-30 big leaves of fresh basil, julienned (reserve some for garnish)
1 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup good olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
*a pinch of red pepper flake if desired
Italian or french baguette (the thin, long kind) sliced into 1/2 inch thick pieces
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated if possible
1. Cut tomatoes in half and squeeze gently to get rid of excess water, pulp and seeds. Cut into a quarter inch dice.
2. In a medium size bowl, mix together tomatoes and add the rest of the ingredients, up to the red pepper flake, tossing gently.
3. Turn on the broiler. Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet or baking stone so they are all touch and are grouped together in the middle. Drizzle with olive oil and broil for a minute or two or until just starting to brown lightly. Remove from oven and turn the heat down to 400 degrees.
4. Spoon entire bowl of tomato mixture over the top of your toasted bread. Sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese, and then a little bit of parmesan cheese. Return to oven and cook until cheese it melted, bubbly, and starting to brown.
5. Sprinkle a reserved basil over the top for garnish. Serve family style allowing everyone to pull apart their own hunk.
The melted cheese keeps the bread slices together and makes this easy to serve as an appetizer. You get more bang for your buck since the topping stays put much better on each slice of bread!
Summer can’t come soon enough!