A classic Italian antipasto, bruschetta is simplicity in a dish. All you need is great bread (check), a variety of condiments to go on top (tomatoes, in our recipe, but you could also add some butter beans, pesto, prosciutto or melted mozzarella), good olive oil and salt and pepper. Yes, it’s that easy.
What you get is a hearty combination of some quintessential mediterranean flavours, and the chance to pretend you’re in Sicily overlooking the sea. Call it the evocative power of food.
- 8 medium tomatoes (about 500g), coarsely chopped and drained
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 6-8 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped
- 30ml balsamic vinegar
- 60-80ml extra virgin olive oil
- 1 loaf sourdough bread
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. As the water is heating, make shallow cuts in a cross pattern at the tip ends of the tomatoes (this will make the tomatoes easier to peel).Once the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat. Put the tomatoes in the hot water and blanch for 1 minute.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and let sit until cool enough to handle. Then gently peel off the tomato skins. Cut out the stem base with a paring knife. Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters and squeeze out most of the juices and seeds.
- Preheat the oven to 230°C with a rack in the top slot of the oven.
- Finely chop the tomatoes and place them in a medium bowl. Mix in the minced garlic, the extra virgin olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar.
- Stir in the thinly sliced basil and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding more to taste.
- Slice your sourdough loaf on the diagonal making half-inch thick slices. Brush one side of each slice with olive oil and place olive oil-side down on a baking sheet or roasting pan for 5 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges.
- Serve the toasted bread with tomato mixture. Enjoy.