A Recipe ala Rachey

You say tomato, I say tomato. Do you pronounce it Bru-SHETTA or Bru-SKETTA? No matter how you pronounce it, it is delicious and surprisingly easy to make. It does take a couple of “special” items. I’m talking to you, fresh basil. but it’s fairly easy to procure the ingredients and make this at home. Which I had never done until a few years ago. I had only eaten this at restaurants, lots of restaurants. But I want to be able to make it at home and enjoy it on the spot anytime my little heart desires. Which is pretty often. 

When I was in college, at two separate times, I worked at a little spot in Hillcrest, CA called Pizza Nova. Woodfired pizza, pasta, salads, all kinds of yummy stuff. Their food was (IS) delicious. The first time I worked there we got to eat free after our shifts. Unfortunately, that stopped by the time I went back the second time. We did get a decent discount so I still got to take food home every time I worked a shift. it was there that I fell in love with bruschetta.  Juicy yet firm Roma and heirloom tomatoes, garlic, basil, balsamic, it’s heavenly. Needless to say, I ate a lot of it in those days. I have gone to Pizza Nova to eat and to get takeout since I worked there in college, which I think says a lot about how good their food is. 

Let’s face it, tomatoes are delicious. Almost any kind of tomatoes adds a little something to practically anything you do with them. And when I see these specific little dark heirloom tomatoes I have to pick up a couple of pints. And go home and whip up some bruschetta. 

Part of the magic of bruschetta is fresh basil. I usually have a small basil plant over my sink in the kitchen. Honestly, I’ve had a few of them. And much like all living plants in my house, I have to work really hard to keep the basil alive. Believe me when I tell you nothing smells better than fresh herbs. Well, maybe garlic, and freshly baked bread, and chocolate chip cookies.  But fresh herbs are up there on the list of good smells.  

All you have to do is chop up your tomatoes, season with a little s&p, add chopped garlic and basil. Drizzle on some balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil, mix it up and you have bruschetta. Let it sit in the fridge for a couple of hours, it gets better with time. Then all you have to do is toast yourself some sourdough, slap some of those delicious tomatoes on there and go to town. You won’t be disappointed, I promise.

My favorite way to eat bruschetta is with some grilled sourdough. Grilled almost to the point of burning it but not exactly burned (ala Pizza Nova.) I like to get my cast iron grill pan screaming hot and grilling the bread on there. Or just plain ol’ toasted sourdough. Really anything that can serve as a vessel with which to get the bruschetta in my mouth. It can be eaten with veggies (sliced carrots, celery, peppers) crudité anyone? I’ve eaten it right out of the bowl with a fork too. Don’t judge me. 

Don’t forget to listen Fridays at noon for new episodes of Conversations About Food Over Food with Rachel & Sara. Until next time, happy eating!

Bruschetta Recipe

  • 3-4 Roma tomatoes (chopped) OR a pint of heirloom cherry tomatoes (chopped) OR any tomatoes you prefer 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 5-6 fresh basil leaves (chiffonade – just a fancy way of saying roll the leaves up and thinly slice)
  • Balsamic vinegar – a nice drizzle
  • Olive oil – another nice drizzle
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Steps for Bruschetta

  • Add chopped tomatoes to a bowl
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Add chopped garlic and basil
  • Drizzle some balsamic vinegar and olive oil 
  • Mix until combined 
  • Chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours
  • Serve with toasted sourdough or your choice of toasted bread

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