What to do with fresh tomatoes: Bruschetta

No matter how you say it: Broo-sketta or Broo-shetta, it is a wonderful way to use up some old bread and fresh tomatoes from your garden.  A friend of mine said her Italian mama (or was it grandmama?) told her that bruschetta was something you made at the end of the week to use up the stale bread. Thrifty and tasty. Since I have tomatoes coming out my ears, now is the time to get out this recipe. Something other than salsa.

Simple rustic ingredients.

I am walking away from our Dr. Who marathon long enough to make up some bruschetta to have with dinner. I happen to have a plethora of hamburger and hot dog buns left over that I made for a party and they will grill up nicely for garlic bread, cheese toast and bruschetta.

But before I start, I really didn’t have a recipe. I know I have made it, but it’s been a while and I just couldn’t remember where I saw it. Okay, I could have just gone on the internet and looked it up in a wink. But whats the point of having all those cookbooks on the shelves if I don’t refer to then now and then? There are thousands of recipes on those shelves. Most of which have never been tried. Some times I just need to hold a book in my hands and turn the pages, looking for a recipe and at the same time reminding myself why I kept this book and wow, look at that recipe. I just have to try that one next week.

But I am afraid this time around, the cookbooks failed me. Even the Italian ones. Nada. So I, heaving a big sigh of disappointment and wondering how the Doctor was going to get everyone out of this mess and save the universe this time, went online and found several, just as I remembered them. It is so easy, I figured I was forgetting something. So here you go…

For the, what would you call it, the salsa? The sauce? Well, whatever you call it, here are the ingredients. No real measuring required.

Some ripe tomatoes, I used six this time, six romas from the garden

Garlic, I used 4 cloves because I think two is too few and you can never have too much garlic

Basil, bought fresh and God bless you if you can grow your own. I have tried. Yes, tried and failed. I bought a box full from Trader Joes, but just used a couple of stalks of it.

salt, maybe a teaspoon, to taste

Balsamic vinegar, a glug or two. Mmm, about 2 Tbsp.

Olive oil, a couple drizzles. Not too much. You can always drizzled it directly on the bread or toast before spooning the bruschetta sauce on it.

Chop up the tomatoes, maybe using your new hand chopper from Pampered Chef. Or a knife. Whatever. I used both. But still some of my tomato pieces could have been cut smaller.

Roll the basil leaves into cigar shape and thinly slice. Dice up the garlic finely with maybe a food chopper. Put all this together in a bowl with the salt, olive oil and vinegar. Mix it together.

Now, if you can leave it alone, you can put it in the fridge to marinade. But if you are like us, we ate it all in one go and would have to make more for later and maybe tomorrow. Good thing I bought lots of basil and garlic, that’s all I can say.

Now for it to be “bruschetta” you need to serve it on bread. You can be real Italian and spoon it onto stale bread. Or toast some fresher bread. Like I said, I used leftover homemade hot dog buns.

Then I went on the wild side, just a little.

First I took the buns and toasted them in the toaster oven. Danged if I am turning my big-guns oven on in this heat.

Then, when it came out, I drizzled some olive oil on it, grated some Parmesan over it, then spooned some of the tomato goodness onto it. And if that was not wonderful enough, I took my last slice of prosciutto and sliced in thinly, laying it on top of the whole kit-and-kabootle.

3 for me, 1 for you…then lick the plate

There you go! So easy and a good use for garden tomatoes. Or farmers market tomatoes. And a way to eat some healthy veggies. Oh, and keep the vampires away! I can still taste that garlic.


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