December 31, 2013 by cucchiano
I had the amazing experience of spending three months in Venice during my time at university. It was a fantastic experience and I fell in love with italian food and, in particular, bruschetta. My flatmate also had a bruschetta addiction and so began the quest for the perfect bruschetta. The result is this very simple recipe that is great as a starter or, when made in larger quantities, as a canapé. If you don’t want to mess about with the bread if this is being served as a canapé then you can use the shop bought crostini and add the tomatoes on top.
It’s great if you can allow the tomatoes to marinade for a few hours as the flavours are much better when left to develop. Enjoy!!
Ingredients (serves 2)
Two handfuls of mixed tomatoes
Small handful of basil leaves
1 large clove of garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Olive Oil spray
Balsamic vinegar (optional)
Small french loaf or other rustic loaf
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to Gas Mark 2.
- Start by slicing the bread on an angle so that you have 4 thick slices. Ideally leave it to stale for a few hours if you have time. If not continue anyway…
- Rub the whole garlic clove across the top of each slice of bread and then spritz the same side of the bread with a squirt of two of the olive oil spray.
- Place the slices on a baking tray (oiled side up) and bake gently for 20-30 minutes until the bread has dried. Leave to cool and dry out.
- Chop the tomatoes into a mixture of sizes – you want some halved, some quartered and others in slightly smaller pieces. Catch all the juice as you chop and decant the lot into a plastic container or dish. Drizzle in the olive oil – 2tbsp is about right. Tear in the washed basil leaves. Ideally using a garlic press add the clove of garlic and mix together. If you want to add the balsamic vinegar add about 1/2 tbsp at this stage. If you have time to allow the flavours to develop leave the container in the fridge with a lid or cover for a few hours.
- When you are ready to serve season the tomatoes to taste with salt and pepper.
- A tip from Jamie Oliver here… place the bread on the plates and push down with your fingers so that the centre of the bread creates a slight dip.
- Spoon over the tomato and basil mixture making sure that each piece of bruschetta gets a good spoonful or two of the tomato and olive juices.
- Serve with freshly ground pepper and some grated parmesan if it takes your fancy.