I am officially back in DC after my Florida vacation which was wonderful! We spent four days being very busy tourists – visiting the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Animal Kingdom, Universal Studios, and spending our evenings at Downtown Disney and Universal City Walk. My friends and I had so much fun – and I can’t wait to share all the details and photos with you guys! Unfortunately, coming back from vacation in the middle of the workweek is a little hectic so I’ve been 1) exhausted and 2) still in the process of unpacking, getting groceries (thankfully Washington’s Green Grocer brought me a box of lovely produce yesterday!), and trying to clean my apartment (boy the mess two cats can make while I’m gone!). But this weekend I look forward to being able to download the pictures, and write a proper post about our adventures. So keep a look out! 🙂
So I got home from work last night and I had basically done nothing around the house. I had half-unpacked my suitcase (which meant I had pulled out the essentials and thrown some things in the clothes hamper), there were dishes in the sink from the dinner I cooked late Tuesday night and couldn’t muster the energy to clean up after (gasp! I am usually not this sloppy but as I mentioned, I was exhausted), and my cats had managed to throw a combination of their food, various papers, and toys all over the house. Basically, my apartment was in need of a deep clean – and I had a fresh box of produce from Washington’s Green Grocer to unpack, a small trip to the grocery store to make, and a full-to-the-bursting DVR to deal with. Not to mention Washington DC has decided to skip straight from winter into summer as it was a whopping 80-something degrees outside. All of this combined meant I needed a quick and easy dinner – stat! And preferably a cold dinner as I couldn’t imagine eating something hot in all the heat – and with all the running around I was doing. Luckily, I got a pint of organic grape tomatoes in my produce box and one of my absolutely favorite summer dishes is bruschetta. Here’s how to make it my version. There are literally hundreds of bruschetta recipes, some raw, some cooked, but I like this raw version to highlight the fresh tomatoes and it makes for an “almost-no-cook” dinner!
-1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes (or whatever tomatoes you prefer – these are my favorite)
-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
-10 leaves of fresh basil, chopped (or 2-3 teaspoons of dried basil)
-1 clove of garlic, pasted or grated (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
-Grated or shaved Italian cheese (I prefer a mix of parmesan and pecorino, but one or the other is equally delicious)
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Freshly toasted bread
Makes approximately two dinner-sized servings or four appetizer-sized servings
First, toast your bread. I put mine in a small cake pan rather than using a baking sheet because I’m only toasting two pieces but doing it on a baking sheet would make sense for larger batches. I usually allow about 2 slices of bread per person – so that’s what I did for me! Drizzle both sides of the bread with olive oil and toast in a 400 degree oven for 5 minutes per side. Keep a close eye on the bread – some ovens will toast faster than others, or the thickness of the bread can affect the timing. I’m always forgetting about bread in the oven! You want to flip it/pull it out of the oven when it’s a light golden brown on both sides.
While the bread is toasting, halve or quarter your tomatoes and place into a bowl. Personally, I halve my tomatoes and if you were using a larger variety of tomato you would want to dice them into bite-sized pieces. Nothing too particular – whatever looks good to you! 🙂 Mix the tomatoes with the remaining ingredients and let set at room temperature until ready to serve. When the bread is toasted, top each slice with a heaping pile of tomato topping and enjoy! I served myself two large pieces for dinner, with a substantial side salad of greens and cucumber. Delicious, if I do say so myself!
Random fun fact – did you know that bruschetta actually just refers to toasted/charred bread, and that once you top it – it’s actually called a crostini? Who knew! I learned that from Rachael Ray who is always teaching me fun facts. But to me, bread topped with tomatoes will always be bruschetta. ❤
What is your favorite bruschetta recipe? Are tomatoes your favorite topping?