California Central Coast Recipes
Fresh Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta
One of the delights of late summer harvest time is when the fresh heirloom tomatoes are at their peak and we kick off a barbecue with an appetizer of bruschetta with fresh tomato topping.
Bruschetta in its simplest form is just toasted - preferable over a flame - pieces of rustic country bread, scraped with a fresh clove of garlic and dribbled with a bit of high quality extra virgin olive oil. We like to use an Italian style rustic bread like Pugliese Bread. We grill the bread until the edges turn a bit black and just a tad bitter for complexity.
Add the tomato toppings of multicolored heirloom tomatoes with a little basil (and a bit more extra virgin olive oil of course!), and the bruschetta steps up to new level.
Preparation time: 15 minutesCooking time:
1 loaf Rustic Country Style Bread , cut in 1/2 inch thick slices
4 medium Tomatoes , preferably heirloom of different taste and colors
Several Fresh Basil Leaves
4 large cloves Fresh garlic , pealed
Extra Virgin Olive oil
Salt and Black Pepper
1 Slice the bread into 1/2 inch thick pieces The slices should be thick enough to be substantial, but no so thick that they are tough to eat.
2 Grill or toast the bread under a broiler until the top is toasted to a what- ever done-ness is desired. Flip and toast the bottom side.
3 While the bread is toasting, cut the tomatoes in half, and if necessary remove some of the seeds if the tomato seems excessively liquidly.
4 Coarsely chop the tomatoes into small dice. You can place all the chopped tomatoes into a single bowl, or keep separate if you want different colored toppings.
5 Tear the basil leaves into small pieces or cut the basil leaves into thin strips and mix with the chopped tomatoes.
6 To serve, take a piece of toast and with clove of garlic and give the toast a couple of scrapes with the garlic. Then dribble a little bit of extra virgin olive oil on top. Next place a spoon of the tomato topping on the toast, add a little salt and pepper, and if desired, a little extra dribble of extra virgin olive oil.
This is a fun "audience participation type" appetizer. The tastes (except for the garlic - be careful it can be surprisingly hot!), are very fresh and mild, so keep the wine selection young and simple.
If you are drinking white wines, a Roussanne or Sauvignon Blanc would be a good choice.
If you are drinking reds, a Sangiovese or a Montepulciano would be good selections.