I love tomatoes. They signal summer to me. Yes, yes, I know, spring just started. But seeing tomatoes and basil in the stores means warm weather is on its way!
Remember all those lovely tomatoes on the vine I bought on sale? I made my sinh to ca chua (Vietnamese tomato shake) with them. I've eaten them plain. I've eaten them in salads. And I made them into this lovely bruschetta.
Bruschetta comes from central Italy, and in the Roman dialect "bruscare" means to roast over coals. But Americans have used bruschetta to mean the topping on the bread, rather than the bread itself. We also mispronounce it as "brushetta" instead of "brusket-ta."
I wonder how further contorted it becomes when lazy old me omits rubbing a sliced garlic clove over the toasted bread? But there's already garlic in the mixture... I also add capers, sundried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar for a little more depth and flavor.
Bruschetta al Pomodoro (Tomato Bruschetta)
For enough bruschetta for a baguette loaf, you'll need:
1 loaf of baguette bread, sliced on the diagonal
5 medium ripe tomatoes-on-the-vine, diced (or any other tomato variety of your choice)
4 bunches of fresh sweet Italian large leaf basil, chopped (I get mine at Trader Joe's. And for my Asian floggers, no, you can't substitute with Thai basil because it's not sweet or juicy enough.)
2 tblsps sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp capers, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
olive oil, to taste
balsamic vinegar, to taste
Dice tomatoes and drain any excess liquid. Sprinkle a teaspoon or so of salt and mix thoroughly. Chop basil leaves and sundried tomatoes into thin strips and add to bowl. Mince garlic and capers and add to bowl. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over mixture. Add some freshly ground black pepper and mix thoroughly again. Add more seasoning if needed. Refrigerate for at least half an hour to chill and allow the flavors a chance to marinate.