There was a New Year Party at my house, and I was inspired to make some very yummy appetizers. I'm going to make each recipe a new post, so watch for the others over the next few days. I'm going to start out with double tomato bruschetta.
When my son asked me what bruschetta was, the best I could come up with was "Italian salsa". I think that is a fairly good explanation. I got this recipe from AllRecipes. I read through the comments before I chose it, and ultimately made it, for ideas. Many said MORE BASIL AND LOSE THE CHEESE. The following is what I ended up with after making some slight changes:
* 6 roma tomatoes, chopped
* 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes softened in 1/8 cup olive oil
* 3-6 cloves minced garlic
* 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (I used Alessi - my favorite so far)
* 1/3-1/2 cup fresh chopped basil
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1 French baguette (I use the New French Bakery Take and Bake brand - THE BEST!!)
* 1/8 cup olive oil
The original recipe calls for sun-dried tomatoes in oil, but I only keep the dried variety -- so I just took some of the oil called for in the recipe to soak my dried tomatoes. Chop them up when soft enough. Mix with the chopped Romas, basil and minced garlic. Add the two tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper.
This smells DELICIOUS freshly made, but the flavors are still pretty separate at this point. This can actually be good when you are going for dramatic, but if you want subtle, well melded flavors, let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.
The original recipe calls for the mix to be put on the cut pieces of baguette then broiled until the cheese is melted, but, I agreed with the commenters that suggested serving the mix on the side and allowing people to add their own topping -- not everyone likes the same amount of topping, plus the toast will stay toasty. SO, right before serving, cut the baguette into 1/2-1" slices, brush with olive oil and broil to toast.
Serve the mix at room temperature with the toasted baguette. I also had a dish of Romano cheese that could be sprinkled over the top.
The bruschetta was very easy and very popular. I will definitely be making this again.
One thing I might try next time is reducing (boiling down) the balsamic vinegar a little to deepen the flavor, but this was also great as is.
Another note: I brought the left overs to work on Friday (about 36 hours later) and it was even BETTER!