Bruschetta

Bruschetta is a charming dish from Italy. I love it for its fresh, wholesome taste and simplicity. It’s also one of the easiest things to make. The only caveat is that you have to use the freshest ingredients possible. Fresh bread, fresh cilantro, freshly ground pepper, fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, fresh tomatoes… Really, FRESH is the mantra here. And it tastes good whether you call it Bru-she-tah or  Broo-skeh-tta.  In its most basic form it  is toasted bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil but it can be topped with a variety of herbs and veggies. For a big party which lasts late into the day or night, bruschetta is great as an appetizer.

This recipe keeps it simple yet very tasty. Prego.

Ingredients:
8-10 slices of french bread or any sourdough bread
1/4 tea spoon crushed garlic (more will be too overwhelming I think)
3 table spoon extra virgin olive oil
8-10 slices of fresh Mozzarella cheese (There are many different types available. Buy one that looks fresh, soft and moist. I love the one at costco.)
For the topping:
4 medium size ripe yet firm tomatoes chopped into medium size pieces
Juice from 2 lemons
3/4 cup fresh basil chopped
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Approx. 1/3 tea spoon salt.

Preparation:
1. Cut 1/4 inch thick slices of cheese. Keep aside.
2. Mix 3 table spoon of olive oil and crushed garlic in a cup. Keep aside.
3. Cut bread slice into two if it’s more than 4-5 inches long.
Note: Basically you need to cut it such that it’s convenient for people to eat. Not too big, not too small.
3. Brush each bread slice with olive oil-garlic mix on both sides and arrange on a baking sheet. Keep aside.

To make the topping:
In a large bowl, mix the topping ingredients listed above. Taste and add adjust spices if required.

To make bruschetta:
1. About 10 minutes before serving,  preheat oven to 300 F.
2. Put the tray with bread slices and bake for 4 minutes. The bread shouldn’t get too hard on top. Flip the slices and bake on the other side for 2-3 minutes.
3. Take each bread slice, put a slice of mozzarella cheese. Top with 2 table spoon of the tomato-basil mix and Serve.