Bruschetta is a classic Italian appetizer and a great party food. Our good friend Harry, a wonderful stand-up comic aka “Mr. Big Stuff”, and best man at our wedding, said these were the best he ever had! It is also one of the best summer appetizers – especially in late summer/early fall when the garden tomatoes are ripe and luscious. You can make this anytime during the year with Roma tomatoes and grilled on the stovetop on a grill pan. My version focuses on each quality ingredient, not like the “salsa” style that many recipes teach. The garlic olive oil is key.
- ¼ good olive oil
- 2 cloves fresh garlic sliced thin
- 1 fresh crusty baguette, cut in ½ slices
- 4 ripe Roma tomatoes seeded and sliced
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ¼ cup fresh shavings of Parmesan
- ¼ cup fresh basil torn or cut in long strips (chiffonade-style)
Place sliced garlic and olive oil in a small glass bowl, and let sit for at least 30 minutes. The longer it marinates, the stronger the garlic flavor.
Place the tomatoes in a small bowl and toss with the salt. This will draw out more moisture from the tomatoes.
Brush the garlic oil on one side of the cut bread.
Place the bread on a hot grill pan on the stove, or direct on a BBQ grill. Quickly brush the other side with garlic oil. Turn when golden, and look for the grill marks. Watch closely so the bread does not burn. Do in batches if necessary. The grilled toast does not have to be hot when served.
Arrange slices of tomato on toast. Top with parmesan shavings, basil pieces, and one thin, slice of the garlic (that you fished out from the olive oil). Trust me on this - that one hit of garlic add the flavor!
Arrange on a platter and serve. They will go quickly.