Saturday, January 2, 2010

Classic Tomato Bruschetta

Wow, it has definitely been some time since my last blog post. Oh, how the holidays come and go and leave the winter months feeling like a blur =) Well, I have not forgotten one of my first loves, even in the midst of this crazy season. In fact, even though I have forgotten to write about it, I have been storing them up for when I finally have time to write to you again - and here we are =)

So here is a new addition to my recipe book, and it's actually an original. Well not an original thought =) just an original compilation of measurements, I guess you could say. That's right, I've finally come up with one all on my own. After watching the movie, "Julie & Julia", and seeing her eat a variation of this classic Italian antipasti, I could help but wonder if I could make it look just as good - and of coarse, make it taste as good as it looked. Well, I hate to toot my own horn, but this one came out pretty good ;)

Hope you enjoy this rich, rustic Italian side or appetizer: Tomato Bruschetta... Here's to you Julia =)

Tomato Bruschetta

3 Tbsp. Olive oil
4 Tbsp. butter
1 Can diced tomatoes
1 small onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
**Handful of fresh basil, chiffonade
1 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper
French baguette, sliced diagonally in 3/4" slices
Olive oil
**If you don't have fresh basil, then you can use an organic basil paste in it's place. I've used it before, and it packs a huge amount of flavor! I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT using dried basil. For this recipe, because there are so few ingredients, it's imperative that what you do use is fresh for the best possible flavor.


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Add olive oil & butter to a medium saute pan & heat on medium heat until butter is melted. To it, add onions and saute until they become tender and translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute or two or until the garlic becomes aromatic and tender. Add tomatoes, basil, sugar, pepper and season generously with salt. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer and reduce the heat to low. Continue heating for about 10-15 minutes, allowing all of the flavors to marry and the sauce to thicken slightly. Remove from heat and allow to rest for at least 5-10 minutes (this will allow the sauce to thicken slightly as well.) Meanwhile, lay the slices of bread on a cookie sheet and using a brush, coat them evenly on both sides with olive oil. Bake them in the 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown on both sides. The finished result should be a firm & crunchy toast, almost like a giant crouton, mmm! Top off each slice of bread with a generous helping of the tomato topping and serve as an antipasti or as the perfect side to any Italian dish.

Hope you enjoy this simple and super easy recipe..... oh, and "bon appetit"

Serves 4 as an appetizer or side

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