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Spicy Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
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Smash the roasted garlic with a chef’s knife until it becomes a paste.
Combine roasted garlic paste with olive oil.
Brush garlic and olive oil mixture over toasted bread slices.
Spoon tomato mixture onto toast slices with a slotted spoon.

Spicy Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Makes 12 slices

In Tuscany, when the first olives are picked to make oil, they take a slice of fresh toast, rub it with garlic and splash on the brand new, pungent, peppery oil. I add tomato and basil, as they do in Rome, but make it sweeter by using oven-dried tomatoes and roasted garlic.

Ingredients

Topping:

  • 4 ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 cup Oven-dried Tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup julienned basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes

Base:

  • 12 x 1-inch thick slices, country-style Italian bread
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon roasted garlic
  • 3 tablespoon julienned basil, for garnish
Method
  1. Pre-heat broiler or grill.
  2. In medium bowl combine fresh and oven-dried tomatoes, basil, salt and black and red peppers. Set aside.
  3. Broil or grill bread until golden brown on both sides. In small bowl combine extra-virgin olive oil and roasted garlic. Brush over toasted bread slices.
  4. Using a slotted spoon to drain off excess liquid, divide tomato mixture among bread slices. Serve immediately.
Presentation

Garnish with extra julienned basil leaves, if desired, and serve immediately.

Wine Recommendation:

I like to start a dinner, especially in the summer, with a chilled red wine, cooled just enough to take the edge off it. Lighter-bodied wines like a good Cotes du Rhone from Guigal or Chapoutier’s Belleruche, or perhaps a young Valpolicella, respond to a cooler temperature.

Or you might want to try cooling a Californian Gamay or Beaujolais style wine too. They’re the perfect match for fresh, fragrant Bruschetta made with fresh, ripe tomatoes.
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