Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From My Kitchen: Fresh Tomato Bruschetta

Seems all my garden needed to really started churning out the goodies was for me to leave for a week's vacation. Isn't that always the way it goes?

In stark contrast to the Great Tomato Disaster of 2010 where I got about a dozen tomatoes from four plants, we're bursting with tomatoes this year. In fact, the plants are so big and loaded with fruit that they are too heavy for the tomato cages. So things look a little wild and crazy in the garden, but apparently the plants are happy, happy, happy!

Tomatoes, tomatoes everywhere! (And plenty of cucumbers, too.)

The tomatoes are starting to ripen at a good pace now, 4-6 a day, though it's clear in another week it will be more like 10-12 a day. Which means I'll be making cream of tomato soup by the gallon. Yum! Amelia has asked if we can have tomato soup for breakfast as soon as we have enough ripe tomatoes. How could I say no to that? Looks like that might happen this week even.

The abundance of tomatoes, so delicious straight from the garden, has led to my newest addiction: bruschetta. Mealtime approaches and I wander out to the garden to pick a ripe tomato or two, then head to the kitchen to toss it with a little olive oil, garlic, basil, salt and pepper. Slap it on some toasted bread or even some really good crackers and YUM!

This is one of those "to taste" recipes, so just sample it until you're happy. If no one else likes it, tough. Just leaves more for you!

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta
1 C. chopped tomato, give or take
Generous drizzle of olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
fresh ground pepper

Chop 1-2 tomatoes, depending on size. I've been making this with about 1 cup of chopped tomatoes. Drizzle generously with olive oil. You want enough to moisten things and help the garlic and basil cling to the tomatoes, but you don't want it swimming in oil. I'd guess about 1 Tbsp. of oil if you must measure.

Toss in minced garlic and basil. I did not grow any basil this year, so I keep a little tube of Garden Gourmet chopped basil in my fridge. Almost as good as fresh chopped, and a lot faster!

Sprinkle with salt and fresh ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings until you are happy. Hope there's still a little tomato mix left after you're done tasting, because it's even better on toasted bread!

Toast some slices of crusty bread. Usually I use French bread or Italian loaf, but we bought some amazing torta rolls recently, so that's what we've been using. Brush bread with olive oil and spoon on the tomato mixture.

Contemplate not sharing. It's really that good.

In fact, it's so good that I may have to take my flashlight to the garden and pick me some tomatoes for a little bedtime snack.

If you've got no bread on hand, use good cracker like Kashi's pita crackers to scoop the tomatoes up as a dip. It will have you licking your fingers, guaranteed.

© Trippin' Mama 2011

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