For the bruschetta:
8 thick slices crusty Italian bread
4 cloves garlic (2 peeled, 2 pressed), divided
3 tbsp fruity extra-virgin olive oil, divided
For the topping:
16 to 20 medium tomatoes (fully ripe)
2 to 3 tbsp finely chopped, fresh ‘Sweet’ or ‘Spicy Globe’ basil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Garnish: sprigs of fresh basil
- To make the bruschetta: Toast bread to a medium brown. While still warm, lightly rub one side of each piece with peeled garlic, using about a quarter clove per piece. Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil over toasted bread, dividing it equally among the slices. Set toast aside (garlic-side up), on a medium-size platter until ready to serve. To make the topping: Fill a medium-size saucepan halfway with water and bring to a boil. Immerse tomatoes for 30 seconds, then drain and rinse with cold water. Peel, remove seeds and dice. In a small bowl, combine tomatoes with pressed garlic, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Set aside and let the flavors meld for 30 minutes. To serve, spoon a few generous tablespoons on each piece of toast. Garnish the plate with fresh basil leaves. Serve immediately. Yields 4 servings.
Bruschetta is versatile in that it can be used with many toppings. Tomatoes and basil are one of the classic combinations.