Simple appetizer that can (and should) be made about an hour ahead of serving. The keys to this recipe are absolutely-fresh ingredients, fresh grilled bread and a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. Also, make sure you serve this at room temperature, not chilled. It can stand for an hour or two unrefrigerated. Optional add-on: fresh buffalo mozzarella."A great, garlicky bruschetta recipe. It is so simple, yet so flavorful! I did make one change; I lightly browned the bread, rubbed each slice with garlic, then brushed them with olive oil. In my opinion, the dry toasted bread takes the garlic easier, and stands up to the oil and toppings better. For my taste, I prefer the crisper bread." - sgrishka
Yield: 12 Servings Ready in 1 hours, 30 minutes
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Verified by stevemur
Find the freshest tomatoes in the store.
If you can find hothouse tomatoes with tender skin, go ahead and use them unskinned, but skinned roma tomatoes work well too. I've found that roma tomatoes work very well for this dish, but skinning them first is a good idea, because around here at least, these roma tomatoes often have a pretty tough skin, and that bite does ruin the texture of the bruschetta a bit.
Preheat the grill (for the bread). You can also use the broiler, but you really need to watch it carefully, and do broil both sides.
To skin the tomatoes, blanch them. To do this, bring a pot of water to a brisk boil. Prepare a large bowl of water with ice as a plunge bath. Wash the tomatoes under cold water, and slice a small "X" in the bottom of them. Gently drop them into the boiling water, and leave them in there for about 45-60 seconds. Take them out and plunge them into the cold water. After 15 seconds or so, you should be able to peel them.
Next, slice them down the middle and core out the seeds. (Throw the seeds out or reserve them for a tomato sauce. There is plenty of flavor in the gel around the seeds, but again, this texture isn't good for fresh bruschetta.)
It's all downhill from here. Dice the tomatoes, and chiffonade the basil (roll the basil leaves into a tight roll and slice them width-wise). Place all these, plus garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Let stand for an hour at room temperature for the flavors to come together.
Baste the bread lightly with olive oil and toast over a medium-low grill. Rub garlic over them after they're done, and arrange on a plate with the bruschetta.
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