Monday, May 9, 2011

In Sara's Kitchen- Bruschetta

There is one dish that I make for almost all family get togethers- Bruschetta.  It's amazing and I honestly think it's better than any restaurant's around!   I decided to be generous and share a step by step guide to making my amazing go to appetizer!

Things you need before you start...
Salt, Tomatoes, Basil, Garlic Cloves, French Baguette (sliced), Olive Oil, Baking Pan, Knife, Cutting Board

1.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2.  Take a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.

3.  After drizzling with olive oil sprinkle with salt- sea salt is best, but if all you have is regular salt in a pig shaped salt shaker- it will do.
4.  Take the slices of baguette and place them on the baking sheet.  Move each one back and forth a few times to get some oil and salt on them, then flip them and do the same to the other side.  Leave sitting while you start the next steps. (you may need two baking sheets- or to reuse this one)

5.  Take your basil and remove the stems.  Then chop up as finely as you'd like.  I use a whole packet of basil from the grocery store.  Place in a bowl.
6.  Cut your tomatoes in half and de-seed them.  The drier your ingredients are the better as it keeps the bread from getting nasty and soggy.  Dice your tomatoes into approximately 1 centimeter cubes.  This time I used one and a half large tomatoes.  I would have used more, but I dropped one half into my dirty sink. (ooops)
7.  Stick the pan of bread in the oven (leave for around 5 minutes).  Mix tomatoes with the basil.
8.  Take several cloves of garlic- depending on how garlicy you want it- or how likely you are to make out with someone later.  I used 3 in this recipe.  Mince.  DO NOT SUBSTITUTE WITH PRE-MINCED GARLIC- THAT'S GROSS AND CHEATING!  Fresh garlic is the only way to go.  
(Sorry, I forgot a picture of the minced garlic.)

9.  Take the bread out of the oven.  Turn each piece over and put it back in (3-5 minutes) Add the garlic to the garlic and tomato!  Taste, if it seems good then leave it.  If not, add more garlic- or basil, or tomato. 

10.  Remove the bread from the oven.  Let cool.  Spoon the tomato, basil, garlic mixture onto each piece of bread (this is best to be done immediately before serving, and when the bread is already on the serving platter.)  

This batch made enough for 20 pieces.  I had enough bread for more- and could have done more with a little more tomato and garlic.  It took me just shy of 30 minutes to complete this.  If I had better knife skills, and knives in general I could probably do it in 15-20.

A variation- that is very tasty but no longer an option for me is to add fresh mozzarella cheese!  Don't bother with dry shredded mozzarella.  If you want to add cheese, after you take the bread out of the oven the first time lay a slice of mozzarella on each piece of bread before sticking it back in.  Leave in till melted, then remove.  In this case I do not let it cool before adding the topping- but still encourage people to eat immediately so there is a contrast between the hot cheese and cool topping.  So delicious.

I hope you enjoy!

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