There is something about Italian antipasti. When you have them on your table, you just don’t want to stop eating! At least, that’s what happens when I am served Italian food. One particularly favorite antipasto is crisp, perfectly grilled Bruschetta topped with fresh tomatoes and basil. Often, when we are eating Italian, I end up devouring more Bruschetta than the main course, I am so in love with this dish. The freshness of basil and the tangy taste of fresh, ripe tomatoes with a hint of garlic make this Bruschetta a perfect appetizer, especially during the cold winter months. When served with soup, Bruschetta can be eaten as a snack and when served with grilled cottage cheese on the side, it can be converted into a mini lunch. I use a whole wheat Baguette or a Ciabatta bread loaf to make my Bruschetta healthier than what is served in the restaurants. Trust me, you can make this lip-smacking dish at home, and I assure you this one of the easiest antipasti I have made. Here’s the recipe:
1 loaf whole wheat Baguette
3 large tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced) + 1 clove garlic (whole)
4 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt (to taste)
Boil 1 litre water in a pan. Turn off the heat and put the tomatoes in the hot water. Remove the tomatoes after a minute. Remove the skin and the seeds of the tomatoes and chop them into small pieces.
Add garlic, olive oil, vinegar salt and pepper to the chopped tomatoes and mix well. Toss in the chopped basil leaves. Set aside.
Preheat oven at 180 degrees Celsius. Cut the Baguette diagonally into half-inch thick slices. Grill for 3 minutes or till the bread slices are slightly brown and crisp. Remove from the oven. Rub a garlic clove on one side of each slice and brush with olive oil. Grill for another minute.
Just before serving the Bruschetta, top each bread slice, olive oil side up, with a spoonful of the tomato-basil topping. Serve as an appetizer with soup, salad or a beverage of your choice.
Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂
NOTE: You can also add small cubes of Mozzarella to the tomato-basil topping if you want to add a Cheesy twist to your Bruschetta.