This dish reminds me of Summer. Home grown tomatoes, still warm from the sunshine. Basil picked from the garden a few moments before use. Crisp, fragrant garlic. Gorgeous HB (Village Press!) olive oil. Black pepper. Maldon sea salt (food miles be damned, it’s my fave salt!) and crusty, dense bread.
My personal preference is to use a dense bread such as a pugliese as opposed to a ciabatta. See the pics for the difference in texture ..
Not sure it shows up too well. But I find ciabatta too light and the tomato chunks fall thru the holes! Best thing to do is experiment and see which you prefer.
As always: get the best bread you can afford. None of this french bread rubbish from the supermarket. It will only disappoint.
So, on to how to construct this oh so simple but sooo delicious dish!
To serve 2, you will need:
4 slices of bread per person (trust me, 2 won’t be enough!) cut on an angle so they look purty. As per the pics. You do not want them too large or they’re hard to eat.
1 clove garlic. Peeled but kept whole.
6 ripe tomatoes. Scoop out the pips and dice evenly. Yes, this seems wasteful but it’s so worth it. Keep the seeds for making home made pasta sauce..
8 large basil leaves for garnish.
Salt and Pepper to season.
Olive oil to drizzle. Probably about 2T max.
Prepare all the ingredients first so you can simply make and serve immediately, these do not sit well.
Using a sandwich press or grill, toast the bread slices. Whilst hot, rub the garlic on each slice. Be generous but you shouldn’t leave any traces of garlic on the bread visible to the eye. Pile with the diced tomato flesh. Scatter each one with shredded or whole (over to you) basil leaves. Season then drizzle with oil and serve.
Some prefer to brush the oil on the bread under the tomato. I just think it looks gorgeous having the oil drizzled on top. Again: over to you which you like to do!
Bruschetta originated in Italy as a poor man’s lunch of toasted, often stale, bread brushed with the best quality olive oil they could afford and topped with any of a number of flavourings, tomato and sausage being standard. In Piedmont the bread was usually rubbed with garlic before adding olive oil, the use of garlic has become a standard part of the international style of bruschetta.
Did you know the proper way to pronounce bruschetta is “Brusk-etta”? Just so you know for next time!