This weekend I was struck with the urge to make a snack that would utilize the wonderful fresh produce available this time of year. Since it’s high tomato season, I went with bruschetta, an Italian appetizer.
Along with being tasty, the tomatoes in this dish provide many health and beauty benefits. Raw tomatoes have an especially high lycopene content, which helps prevent cancer. Vitamins A & C (both antioxidants) are linked to healthy skin and hair cells. Bon appetit!
6 Roma tomatoes
2-3 sprigs of fresh basil
4 T olive oil
4 T balsamic vinegar
~12 slices of bread
4 whole cloves of garlic
1/2 t kosher salt
Slice up your bread (I used a baguette, but a more traditional Italian bread would be lovely) so it’s about half an inch thick (~2cm). Toast it lightly.
While the bread is toasting, dice your tomatoes. (I like to cut them in half “pole to pole” and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon before dicing.) Remember that tomatoes do much better with a serrated knife than a straight-edged one! Put the diced tomatoes in a bowl and get your fresh basil.
Pull the leaves off the stems and stack 4-6 of them. Roll them up and slice very finely (a.k.a. chiffonade), then add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt. Stir and set aside.
When the bread is toasted, cut your cloves of garlic in half and rub one across each slice. Spoon your tomatoes on top and you’re done! You could also finish with some shaved Parmesan cheese if you have it.