The Perfect Bruschetta

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by Pamela Morgan 

Hi friends! Where did the summer go?? I can’t believe It’s mid August already.Our garden is overflowing with tomatoes.  My husband is really a tomato whisperer.He plants his seeds in March and then lovingly watches them sprout before he plants them in the ground in early June. Now we are picking tomatoes everyday.And I’m making everything with TOMATOES!!!!I wanted to share one of my favorite tomato recipes.Do you remember when our social media feeds were packed with people learning how to bake bread? Well, for those of you who’ve picked up a delicious hobby during quarantine like baking, or maybe you just happen to have a crunchy baguette lying around, bruschetta is an unrivaled appetizer to make for any occasion.

The Perfect Bruschetta

To me, bruschetta doesn’t always have to look one specific way. Most importantly, it means thin pieces of good quality bread that are lightly brushed with olive oil and grilled to crunchy perfection. This easy appetizer is ideal for entertaining at home since it’s unfussy and highlights what’s fresh and in season. I have two favorite topping combinations that I want to share with you: a Tomato-Caper topping with lemon and a Yellow Tomato and Smoked Mozzarella topping with olives.

The key is finding the juiciest tomatoes and letting your topping ingredients sit (chopped up and mixed together, of course) at room temperature for about a half hour ahead of time. This lets all of those wonderful flavors come together before you scoop them onto your crunchy bread. Once your pieces of bread are toasted and your toppings are mixed, you can focus on the main course and plate up your bruschetta last minute. Think of bruschetta as a way to buy yourself an extra hour of time before a dinner party. Your guests will be happy to snack on something so fresh and crunchy, plus they’ll need something in their stomachs to soak up your signature cocktail of the night!

The Perfect Bruschetta

Two Tomato-Basil Bruschettas

Time:45 minutes Course: Appetizer Cuisine: Italian Servings: 8 people

Ingredients

Bruschettas

  • 1 thick baguette, about 22 inches long ends trimmed, angle-cut into 36 ½-inch slices
  • ⅓ cup olive oil

Tomato-Caper Topping with Lemon

  • 2 large, ripe tomatoes, about 1 pound total trimmed, seeded, and diced (¼-inch)
  • ¼ cup fresh basil finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp small capers drained
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed through a press
  • salt
  • black pepper freshly ground

Yellow Tomato-Smoked Mozzarella Topping with Olives

  • 2 large ripe yellow tomatoes, about 1 pound total trimmed, seeded, and diced (¼-inch)
  • 3 ounces smoked mozzarella diced (¼-inch) at room temperature
  • ¼ cup pimento-stuffed green olives chopped and drained
  • ¼ cup fennel bulb chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh basil finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves peeled and crushed through a press
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • For the bruschetta, light a charcoal fire and let it burn down until the coals are evenly white, or preheat a gas grill (medium). Brush the bread slices lightly on both sides with olive oil.
  • When the fire is hot, lay the bread on the rack. Cover and grill, rearranging the position of the slices on the rack to create grill markings and turning them once, until they are crisp and lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes total.
  • Remove from the heat and cool. The bread slices can be grilled several hours in advance.
  • For the tomato-caper topping, in a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, basil, capers, oil, lemon zest, garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and a generous grinding of pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • For the tomato-smoked mozzarella topping, in a medium bowl, stir together the tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, fennel, basil, oil, garlic, ¼ tsp salt, and a generous grinding of pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Adjust the seasoning on both tomato mixtures. Serve them, accompanied by the grilled bread slices, letting guests top their bruschetta to taste.

This easy summer recipe can do no wrong in my book.

Don’t forget to always keep a good quality olive oil around for this one. Also, if you can find some gorgeous heirloom tomatoes at the farmers market, your bruschetta will be Instagram ready with barely any work on your part.

I’m excited for you to add these party snacks to your hosting routine! I’d love to hear your feedback and recipe ideas in the comments section below.

Enjoy these warm days while you can!P.S.Please SAVE THE DATE!!!  September 16th at 5:30PM

I’m doing a Zoom Cooking Party with fashion designer Nicole Miller who is a terrific cook! Invitation will be out soon! Pamela


The Perfect Bruschetta

Cookbook author and entertaining expert, Pamela Morgan is the owner of NYC based Flirting with Flavors, where she offers exclusive cooking parties, inspirational seminars and special events. She is highly regarded as a special event planner, culinary consultant, cookbook author, and is a food & entertaining editor for Hamptons’s Cottages and Gardens.   Pamela sees food as a flirtation: sexy, provocative, and a little mysterious. Her desire is to teach you how to flirt your way into a full on passion for cooking and entertaining! Visit her web site for recipes, entertaining inspiration and much more.

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