How to make bruschetta: the taste of summer

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All those tomato plants that took over our balcony have now come to fruit, so what better to do than make bruschetta!

Tomatoes here

balcony 2y

Tomatoes there

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Tomatoes everywhere!

If you want to taste summer at any time of the year, just make some tomato bruschetta. The redness of tomatoes bursting with flavour, aromatic fresh basil and golden olive oil on crunchy toasted bread really conjure up the Italian golden light and warm summer days. They are so easy to make, here is how:

You will need:

Fresh tomatoes: chopped into little pieces. The important thing is that tomatoes are always kept at room temperature, as storing them in the fridge destroys their taste and texture. Some recipes tell you to seed tomatoes, I never do this. You hardly notice the seeds and I read that they even contain a lot of flavour. I don’t bother to skin them either, as extra fibre is good and you don’t notice it when they’re chopped into little pieces. Wash and chop up as many tomatoes as you want and put them in a little bowl. How much depends how much you want to eat, as the tomatoes are the base. You can mix different kinds of tomatoes together. We grew some red and yellow ones this year.

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Fresh basil leaves: you might want to keep a plant in your kitchen so that you can just pluck a few leaves when you want. If it won’t grow in winter, you can normally buy bags of the fresh herb at the supermarket. Wash some leaves and tear them into little pieces.

Here is a new basil plant coming home from the supermarket with me

Here is a new basil plant coming home from the supermarket with me

Olive oil

Salt and ground black pepper

Balsamic vinegar

Garlic cloves or a little crushed garlic (if you don’t like garlic, they taste good without it too)

Some baguette or dense bread, cut into slices. One time at the supermarket, the only bread I could find was a rye or rye and wheat bread, so I tried this, and actually it tasted delicious with the tomato topping, so now I often make it with this bread, although it is not conventional. I like to use this dense bread because the outside goes crispy and the inside stays a bit soft and soaks up some juice, and it can support the tomatoes. For little slices that would be good for appetizers, baguettes would probably work best.

Method:

Mix together the tomatoes, basil leaves, a splash of olive oil, and a dash of balsamic vinegar (not too much, it is strong! You can taste it to adjust). Season with salt and black pepper. Salt really brings out the flavour of tomatoes, so don’t be too shy with the salt.

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Toast the bread, either in the toaster if you can fit it in, or under the grill. When it nice and crispy on top and still hot, drizzle some olive oil over the bread and spread it a bit with the back of a spoon. You can also rub the bread with a garlic clove if you like.

Spoon the tomato topping onto the bread. There will be some juices in the bowl, make sure to spoon some of the juice directly into the bread so it can seep in a little.

Serve while still warm, it tastes best!

Buon appetito!

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