So. Much. Cake. There has been SO MUCH CAKE in this house lately. Between testing over a dozen wedding cupcake recipes, to making 14 dozen cupcakes for the wedding itself, to Liesl’s birthday cake, Oliver’s upcoming birthday cake, farewell cupcakes for an intern I was mentoring, a co-worker’s birthday…we’re just about sweeted out here.
And that, folks, is something you will not read on here very often.
It was time to bust out the veggies and eat ourselves out of this sugar coma. Time to pull out our favorite healthy recipes (yes, they’re usually push behind the cupcake ones in the recipe box). This bruschetta is one of our go-to favorites.
Let me preface this with: I really, really dislike tomatoes. I won’t quite go so far as to say hate, but I’m about as close as you can get to it without crossing the hatred line. I’m fine eating tomato sauce, ketchup, even tomato soup. But you ask me to eat a raw or stewed or cooked tomato plain, by itself? Gross.
To give myself credit, I do regularly eat tomatoes. And cook them in recipes and put them in dishes I make. I’ll even order them on sub sandwiches, or put a few on my salads at home, because I know they’re good for me. But not because I like them. Oh, no. (And here’s where Nick would call me out and tell you that I only eat half of my sandwich before pulling the tomatoes off the other half. Hey, I’m a big girl and can make my own grown-up decisions. #adulting)
But a few years ago, we were having dinner at a friend’s house, and the wife had made homemade bruschetta. I was skeptical of all the tomato I saw, but not wanting to be rude, I had a piece.
What the… What is this piece of heaven disguised as diced tomatoes?!
The flavor combination was perhaps the most perfect dancing harmony I’d ever tasted. The fresh basil, the potent garlic, the hint of balsamic…I didn’t even care if that other flavor was tomato or not. It didn’t taste anything like that vegetable (fruit) that I
despise really, really dislike.
I was hooked. We made it less than a month later. I probably ate a dozen pieces and had nothing else for dinner. This bruschetta made me love tomatoes (in this form, anyway).
So when I had some left-over basil that I needed to use up before it went bad last week, you can bet I was at the store in no time buying a baguette and a whole pile of tomatoes. Throw some balsamic and basil and garlic in with them, and they transform into this magically flavorful dish that’s perfect for appetizers, snacks, or as a side to any Italian dish. It’s easy, low-intensity, and quick. Let’s call this recipe as close to perfect it gets.
Cheers to bold flavors and healthy foods!
- 1 thin baguette (ie. skinny, not large in width)
- 6 roma tomatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup roughly chopped fresh basil
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp + 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Cut the bread into ¼ - ½ inch thick slices on a diagonal (maximizing surface area per slice). Brush one side of each slide of bread with olive oil. Place on a large cookie sheet, olive oil side down.
- Place in oven under broiler on high for about 3-6 minutes, or until just beginning to toast to golden brown. (I like them to be crispy on the outside, but still soft in the very center.) Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combined diced tomatoes, minced garlic, chopped fresh basil. Stir to combine. Add balsamic, 1 tsp olive oil, salt, pepper. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed (adding more basil or salt, etc).
- Arrange bread slices on a plate with olive oil side up (to protect bread from getting soggy). Top bread slices with generous spoonfuls of bruschetta. Serve immediately.