I love bruschetta. Bruschetta is one of those foods you can eat as an appetizer, snack or meal. It also presents as super impressive even though it’s not that difficult to make, which is totally my kinda dish! In fact, I can’t see fresh tomatoes, especially home-grown tomatoes, without thinking how great they would be in bruschetta. Weird, I know. I’m getting help.
I think bruschetta is a great dish to serve at a party or to bring to a picnic. Just toast the bread beforehand, pack up some sliced mozzarella and put the tomato mixture in a container and you’re good to go!
One suggestion: if you plan to serve this to a number of guests, toast the bread with the mozzarella and serve the tomato mixture separately with a spoon so that your guests can control how much they want and so the bread doesn’t get soggy.
Speaking of mozzarella, have you all ever tried fresh mozzarella? I mean the stuff that comes soaking in its own juices in the gourmet cheese section of the store. If you haven’t, I highly recommend you try it sometime. It’s only slightly more expensive than the regular mozzarella, but it is worth every penny. It is so soft and delicate and…just amazing, I use it for bruschetta and pizza whenever I can.
I also like the many variations and personal touches you can add to bruschetta. This recipe is for a relatively simple bruschetta that uses fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, balsamic vinegar and fresh pear tomatoes (yum!). Add to it what you like, as that is the beauty of this dish. The flavors are so vibrant and light…it’s hard to stop eating. If you are able to not eat the whole baguette in the one sitting, the tomato mixture only increases in goodness after several hours in the fridge.
Thanks to Dustin’s brilliant suggestion, I have learned that putting the tomato mixture on top of the melted cheese, as opposed to melting the cheese on top, makes it easier to eat without it all falling off as you take a bite and keeps the bread from getting as soggy.
1 fresh baguette
6 oz. fresh grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced into halves, through stem
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup (12-15 leaves) fresh basil, roughly chopped
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
Preheat the oven on the broiler setting.
Slice the baguette into 1/2-inch slices. On a baking sheet lined with tin foil, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown. Then, flip and brown opposite side for one minute. Watch closely so the bread doesn’t burn. Once crisp and browned, remove from the broiler and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes.
To serve, layer a slice of the mozzarella cheese on the toasted bread and then top with the tomato mixture.