Monday, August 10, 2009

Recipe for Italian Style Bruschetta

Somebody has already asked me for the crostini and Bruschetta recipe. The timing is right with all the fresh tomatoes and basil coming in. I ate six slices (SIX SLICES!) for dinner last night. I loved every bite. That much fresh tomato in one sitting is hard on the tummy but oh so worth it.

This is how I learned to make it in Italy. The reason I had to have it last night was because yesterday I went with Melinda to see "Julie and Julia" which was a fantastic flick. Maybe I'll add a review later. Anyway, in one scene Julie converses with her husband while she is putting together a batch of these. Then we get to watch them dine together, talking through a mouth full of fresh tomatoes. From that scene on I was planning my own crostini dinner since I knew I was going to get fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil from Andrea.

Crostinies/ Bruschetta Italian Style

Sliced rustic country bread (anything with a chewy crust and dense interior)
Clove of garlic
Olive Oil

Fresh garden tomatoes, chopped
Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt, pepper, lemon pepper to taste

Take bread slices out of the bag.
Take a peeled, smashed clove of garlic and rub it on both sides of the bread.
Place bread on a wire rack to air dry slightly

Meanwhile, in a bowl, mix chopped tomatoes, basil. Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper or lemon pepper.

Change the sprinkler location in the yard and return a phone call. This will give the bread about the right time to air dry. Even better if it’s a long catching up phone call that gives the bread at least a half hour, but no more than an hour, to dry out a bit.

In a frying pan, put equal parts of butter and olive oil. Enough to give the pan a generous coating on the bottom when the butter melts. Bring oil mixture to a medium high heat, just before the smoking stage. Place bread slices in the pan. Flip before all the oil is absorbed, so that both sides have a nice oil coating. Then leave on the first side until it turns a light toasty brown. Flip over and finish browning the second side.

Place the bread slices on a platter. Top generously with the chopped tomato mixture. Gobble up immediately. Allow yourself to sigh and roll your eyes back into your head with the first bight. The browned surface of the bread keeps the tomato juices from soggying up the bread too fast.

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