In the summertime, there is absolutely nothing better than finding ways to use all those gorgeous fresh tomatoes that are everywhere. One of my favorites was always a tomato sandwich which we commonly eat in the South: Bunny bread, sliced tomatoes, Duke’s mayo generously spread and also plenty of salt and pepper……but that’s another post for another time.
But I digress…… this post is to show you my own personal, probably neurotic, way of making bruschetta. And for this neurosis I call upon my husband who has the ability to dice the most intensely annoying, perfectly shaped tiny cubes of diced tomatoes you will ever see. He’s my tomato dicing guy. I have no patience for that sort of thing and I would just hack it to pieces if I had to do it myself. Why not just slice them, you ask? Well, I’m not overly fond of vegetables, so the whole runny center that is inside of tomatoes grosses me out so I leave it to my husband to filter all that junk out and just leave me with a nice bowl of glistening ruby-like tiny tomato cubes. Obsessive Compulsive at its best!
Meanwhile, we had this nice (albeit small) basil plant we were growing this year. I chopped it down (at the last time we made bruschetta) and waited weeks and weeks for it to grow back. My cat Moby ate one stalk of them, so we were left with the remnants of this one little plant, and I opted to use it all for this since it wasn’t doing much. I didn’t think I would have enough, but it seemed to work.
It’s almost embarrassing to even provide a recipe for this, since it’s so simple and obvious, but here’s how I do it:
Ingredients for Simple Summer Bruschetta
serves: unknown. I just keep making them until I run out of stuff.
1 loaf Italian bread
3-4 decent tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 package fresh mozzarella, diced
1 bunch fresh basil, shredded or sliced, or torn, or chopped (whatever method you like to turn it into smaller pieces)
On a baking sheet or two,
1. Slice Italian bread on the diagonal, about half an inch thick, although this is purely a personal preference. Thick or thin, your choice!
2. Layer a bit of tomatoes on each bread slice.
3. Sprinkle some of the chopped basil on each slice.
4. Evenly distribute the cubed mozzarella cheese on each slice.
5. Lightly drizzle with olive oil on each slice (personally I don’t like olive oil that much, but put on as much as you want! It doesn’t matter.)
6. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, to taste (I think this is the best part.)
7. Place in oven on BROIL, with oven racks set to the top. Watch carefully to make sure the cheese is melted and edges of the bread are browned. Do not overcook.
Sometimes if I’m feeling extra-picky I’ll toast the bread a little before adding all the stuff on top, because it can get a little soggy if you don’t cook AND eat it quickly. But that’s just a personal preference. Maybe thicker slices of bread would help?