Sometimes you want to bite into something and have the flavor punch you in the face. I mean, if you think about it, most foods you order at a restaurant or fast food joint are created for the masses, so they are usually a bit on the bland side. I ordered Bruschetta at a local restaurant. I was blown away. I tasted fresh Sweet basil, garlic, and tomato, but the kicker was the Balsamic vinegar – sharp, tangy and sweet, all at once.
I have since made Bruschetta at home. We had a beautiful yield of Sweet basil from our gardens, so whipping up this simple recipe was a great way to use it. But then Autumn came, and our Basil plants succumbed to the cold.
Most grocery stores don’t carry fresh Basil, because it wilts much too fast. We’re fortunate that our local grocery store stocks North Shore Living herbs. The herbs are packaged with the root ball still attached, so you can use the herbs and throw the root ball away, or you can plant the basil and let it continue to grow. We planted two basil plants in small pots and they’ve allowed us to make Bruschetta once or twice a month throughout this Winter.
On to the recipe:
- 4 small fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 2 or 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup of basil leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, shredded or cut into small cubes
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 1 French Baguette
In a large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, basil, garlic, salt, pepper and cheese. Add tomatoes and toss gently. Set aside.
Slice the baguette into thin 1/4 inch slices, lay them flat on a cookie sheet, drizzle a little olive oil over them, and bake for 8 minutes in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven.
As soon as the baguette slices are out of the oven, place 3 or 4 on a plate, spoon the tomato mixture over the top, and then eat!