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Monday, August 6, 2012

Bruschetta using Cherry Tomatoes

Despite the drought conditions hitting us hard in the Midwest, we have still managed to get a great crop of herbs (mostly basil and oregano) and a ton of cherry tomatoes. I love fresh herbs more than anything. It makes sense to always plant your own herbs as the markets will charge you an arm and a leg to buy these items. With the surplus of tomatoes and basil, I decided to make a batch of cherry tomato bruschetta. I usually use roma tomatoes, but those are not ready yet and I thought the sweetness of a cherry tomato would give this appetizer dish a nice twist. Bruschetta is one of my favorite basil based dishes as I really enjoy the combined flavors of sweet tomato, pungent garlic and fresh herbs offset by slight saltiness of the cheese and bread. Due to its lightness, bruschetta is also the perfect appetizer or snack when enduring an extremely hot summer like this one. Add a glass of wine or your favorite cool beverage and you’re in business.


I am not going to profess to make my bruschetta “by the book”. Everyone has their own way of doing it. For example, I have witnessed this appetizer served on a variety of different breads as well as use different types of cheeses. I stick with the base ingredients of tomato, basil, garlic, mozzarella, olive oil, and French bread. Last Sunday I decided to make a batch of brushetta will items I already possessed whether in the back garden or in the vegetable crisper. The only item I that I had to run out and get was some French bread. I wasn’t about to make bread from scratch as I did not have the patience nor the desire to heat up my kitchen. I went frugal and used up leftover shredded mozzarella which is not as good as the wet spongy fresh mozzarella, but it still managed to work. This bruschetta treat went over good with the family. I think the kids enjoyed it as much as the parents. If you have a ton of cherry tomatoes that need to be used up, I highly recommend this recipe.

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

Bruschetta Mixture (About 4 appetizer servings)

30 cherry tomatoes quartered

½ cup shredded mozzarella

2 cloves garlic, minced

4 -5 basil leaves, minced

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Bread Crusts

½ loaf French bread sliced into small rounds

Olive Oil

Method

1. Combine quartered tomatoes, garlic, basic, cheese and oil.

2. Season to taste and store in fridge for about an hour

3. Prepare crusts by brushing olive oil on each side.

4. Grill each side of crust slightly; do not brown but slightly firm up the bread.

5. Remove from grill and place on plate

6. Spoon bruschetta mixture on each round and serve.

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