A Bruschetta Afternoon

Bruschetta. I love the stuff. It's one of my fave appetizers to serve when I have friends over, or even just for a Sunday afternoon snack. Jeff's a fan too, so it's really good for me to make anytime. The first time I made bruschetta, I'd recently been to a local restaurant in town that serves it (their version is amazing). I pulled up a couple of recipes online and loved Pioneer Woman's best. (Seriously, she's the best at everything.) Of course, ideally, you'd have all fresh ingredients. Like the Pioneer Woman, you'd hop outside and just gather some fresh basil and garlic and tomatoes from your garden. Alas, this is Brandy-style bruschetta. So we're a little less fresh-from-the-garden and a little more straight-from-my-seasonings-cabinet. That's okay. So if you've got a garden outside, go for it. If not, dig through your seasoning reserve and see if you have minced garlic and basil.

Depending on how much you're making and how many people you're serving, you can tweak this recipe. I usually heat about three tbs of olive oil (needs to be olive oil, substituting doesn't really work) in a skillet on the stove. Then I add garlic. I use my ready-made minced garlic (1/4 tsp equals one garlic clove). I like a good amount of garlic. But you use however much you want. Start with maybe 3 garlic cloves. More if you want. (More oil if you want for that matter, this recipe is meant to be messed with.) I either buy red grape tomatoes or just a regular tomato and chop it all up. If I have yellow tomatoes, I use those too and it's extra delicious! If this is for a party or more than one family, just add more of everything. This stuff is SO easy to make.

Keep an eye on the garlic! Do not burn. I usually just stand there and stir it around till it's smelling good, maybe a little golden but definitely not burned. Then set it aside in a bowl and let it cool for just a couple of minutes (I normally chop the tomato during this time because I'm rushing). Add the tomato and stir it up. Now add balsamic vinegar. I really like this stuff, so I add a few tbs. Start with like two and taste it and see if that's enough for you. Now add in basil. Fresh basil if you have it. For those of us who rarely step off the back deck, just see if you have some in your seasonings cabinet. I usually sprinkle a good amount on, then taste it to make sure I'm happy with it (then I usually add more balsamic and basil). Add some salt and pepper too.

This stuff just gets better as it sits and all the flavors blend together. But I have a hard time waiting. Luckily, it's just as delicious if you need to serve immediately. Serve it on crusty, toasted bread. I toast it on the stove (with butter) if I have time. If I don't have time (more likely), I try to buy a French loaf already sliced and I just pop those pieces in the toaster.

Now I'm craving bruschetta. Maybe I need to have a November girls' night!

No comments

Tell me about it! I love hearing from you!