Healthy, colorful tomatoes are available year-round, but are at their peak flavor in the warmer months, when they are frequently paired with basil and garlic, as in this classic Italian dish. In the traditional version, the bread would be toasted over an open flame to maintain a soft interior and crunchy exterior. If you have good-quality olive oil in the house, sprinkle a little on top of each bruschetta to garnish before serving.
Serves 6 as an appetizer
6 large country French or Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch slices
4 medium tomatoes
1 large garlic clove, halved crosswise
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 to 4 leaves fresh basil, minced
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
At the same time, slice the tomatoes crosswise, remove the seeds with your fingers and chop the tomatoes into a medium dice. Take one half of the garlic clove and mince it. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped tomato, minced garlic, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, vinegar, basil, and salt and pepper and gently stir to combine.
Toast the slices until golden-brown, about 7 minutes. When they first come out of the oven, rub each slice of toast all over with the remaining half garlic clove. Carefully pour the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over the toasts (or brush it on with a clean kitchen brush). Using a slotted spoon, top each toast with some of the tomato-basil mix and serve right away.
Emily Wise Miller is the web editor at Live Happy.