Over the summer I saw Julie and Julia back in the United States. Having never eaten bruschetta, I was oddly curious as I watched "Julia" and her husband inhaling thick slices of crusty bread drizzled in olive oil and piled with tomatoes, basil and garlic. At that point, bruschetta sounded more like a hair implement than a food to me, and I was still a little scared of raw garlic.
A few months later, Bulgaria's annual series of tomatoes arrived. (Did you know Denmark didn't want Bulgaria in the E.U. because of the tomato market competition?) First the big ripe red ones, then medium reds, then yellow and orange mediums, then mini-yellows and water-balloon plump mini-reds.
It seemed like it was time. Time for bruschetta. I found a recipe to play with at Pinch My Salt, and it was as easy as promised. When I discovered the entire delicious process took only about ten minutes, I knew it was a keeper, but it didn't truly come into its own until we visited Cinque Terre, Italy, the birthplace of pesto. After two nights of homemade pesto on various homemade pastas with fresh parmesan and strawberry-studded tart to wash it all down, I added yet another new food to my slowly-becoming-less-picky diet. There is something about pesto pasta with pine nuts and bruschetta that gives gusto to a busy Monday. Or any busy day, really. Or days that aren't busy.
Adapted from Pinch my Salt
5 Diced Cherry Tomatoes (optional addition: yellow or orange tomato for color)
Chopped Fresh Basil Leaves (6-10)
3 TBSP olive oil
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar
3 Twists of Sea Salt (1/4 tsp)
2 Twists of fresh Pepper (1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 Clove minced garlic
1/2 Baguette or slices of crusty style bread
1. Combine all except bread in a small bowl. Let sit and soak while toasting the bread.
2. Toast slices of crusty bread in the toaster oven or the oven, until lightly golden (about 5 minutes).
3. Arrange slices on a plate. Spoon mixture over them, drizzling any extra olive oil on
top of slices that look a little dry.
Alas, my food processor is in storage in the U.S. so homemade pesto isn't an option. Luckily, our Austrian grocery store is heavily stocked with all things Italian. We LOVE the Barilla brand pesto, and happily shell out twelve leva every few weeks for a monstrous jar.
If you're looking for further stuff-on-bread options, check out these bruschetta variations:
Roasted Vegetables on Garlic Bruschetta at What's For Lunch Honey
Avocado Bruschetta at Foodaphilia