Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Tale of Two Bruschettas

What do you do when you have a bunch of tomatoes that ripen all at once? ...
......And you hear the little gnomes in your herb garden calling ..."pinch these herbs...NOW!"
You listen to those gnomes!  Pinch some herbs, pick some tomatoes and with the addition of just a few more ingredients, you will be enjoying two bruschettas in no time.
I have been making tomato bruschetta for a long time.  My bruschetta has been known to be a bit garlicky.  To tone it down, I have cut back on the garlic, and added some lightly sauteed shallots.  Shallots give it flavor without being...shall I say...offensive? 
Fresh Tomato Bruschetta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 finely chopped shallot
  • about 2 cups chopped cherry tomatoes (you can use any tomato that you like.  If you are using a larger variety of tomato, I suggest seeding them before chopping)
  • 2 cloves crushed and finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/8 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • a pinch of salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • a splash of balsamic vinegar
-Pour olive oil into a small non stick saute pan.  Heat and add minced shallot.
-Saute over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, do not brown.
-Remove from heat and allow to cool while chopping and mincing herbs and tomatoes.
-Mix everything in a bowl adding the oil-shallot mixture when cool.
-Let sit for at least an hour at room temperature ( 2-3 hours makes it even yummier)

This next recipe is a variation of a recipe that was introduced to me by my daughter Melissa.   She served it as an appetizer for Mother's Day dinner this year.  It was a memorable dinner as Melissa is not one to cook.  She served white bean bruschetta along with an arugula salad and spaghetti al limon.  It's nice to learn something from your daughter.  I think my only change to the recipe is the addition of rosemary and lemon.  Melissa thinks I am herb crazy...rosemary would never touch her cutting board.

Adapted from Melissa Kipp's White Bean Bruschetta
 White Bean Bruschetta
  • 1 16oz. can Small White Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons roughly chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • a fast squeeze of lemon
Mix everything in a shallow bowl and let the flavors blend for an hour or longer.

Serve on grilled bread, rubbed with garlic.  Last week I made both of these appetizers to bring along to a friend's BBQ.  I purchased a fresh crusty warm baguette at the market.  I sliced it thin and served it just as it was.  Truth be told, it was too hot to light the oven or stand over the grill.  It was wonderful...good bread can stand on its own.

Okay, so there is no tale.  Just get yourself a glass of wine and enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. Alas, back in the days of orecchiette and rosemary cream sauce adapted from :gasp: Olive Garden, I got rosemaried out. Now I think it's just a reminder of chain restaurants that I tend to avoid. I'd amend that I now cook the beans from scratch, but the can does work if pressed for time and a quick easy appetizer is in demand!