Tuesday, November 27, 2012



A light, fresh snack made with tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinegar on top of toasted bead. Makes a great appetizer or light meal.


After a couple of days eating rich, heavy food (with lots of cream and butter) I needed something light.  I still had one loaf of my homemade caibatta bread that was going stale and I wanted to use it before it became hard as  rock.  My answer was Bruschetta.

I can always find grape tomatoes in Chinatown, and they are usually inexpensive (I got a big bag, about 2-3 cups of tomatoes, for $2). Then I just needed basil.  Traditional basil is not something I usually find in China town, and at a regular grocery store it can be expensive, so I picked up 1 pound of Thai basil for $1.  Here is my recipe.


2 cups chopped tomatoes
20 basil leaves, sliced
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Toasted thin slices of bread

I cut the tomatoes into 4-8 pieces each, depending on the size, and tossed them in a bowl.  Then I chiffonade-ed (I don't know how to make the past tense of chiffonade...any ideas?) the basil leaves and tossed them with the tomatoes.  Added vinegar and some salt and pepper, tossing to coat the tomatoes and let it sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour (I think that this allows the flavors to blend).

Meanwhile, I sliced up my last loaf of Caibatta.  It was pretty tough having sat out for about 4 days (I could have put it in plastic, but in my opinion this ruins the texture of the crust.  It's fine for sandwich breads, but I usually just wrap Caibatta and other rustic breads in a kitchen towel, or paper if you have it.) but I brushed the slices with olive oil and fried them in a frying pan, on both sides.  Then, while the toast was still warm I rubbed it with a cut clove of garlic. Serve toast topped with tomato mixture. Makes enough for 2.

Toasting the bread  made it softer and the Bruschetta turned out great.  Rubbing the toast with garlic is a must.  This was the first time I did it, usually I skip this step or add some minced garlic to the tomatoes, and wow it really adds just the perfect amount of garlic flavor.  I highly recommend that you don't skip this step.  The Thai basil was great too, it may not taste exactly like traditional basil, but I can hardly tell the difference and in this recipe it tasted great.  This was an awesome meal/snack and for less than $3.  You can't get that at a restaurant.  Enjoy.

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