Here’s the deal. I had a pretty crappy day yesterday. When I get upset, I cook (and write…or paint… but I’ve been having problems with painting lately). I personally find it to be relaxing. So. Here’s a recipe for Bruschetta that I, Bridget Beaver in Japan, invented! As far as measurements go, I don’t have measuring spoons and cups and all of that fancy schmancy stuff, so um… I didn’t include any. You’re totally on your own for that. This is a pretty simple recipe, so as long as you don’t drown everything in one ingredient, I’m sure you’ll be fine just eyeballing it.
Also, I usually cook for one (me!) so this is a recipe for one or two servings… depending on how much bruschetta you (or the people you love) can eat in one sitting! I like to use two tomatoes and then use about half of the topping right away, then throw the rest in a container and let it marinate in the fridge for tomorrow. It’s fabulous, I know.
- Italian or a similar white crusty bread, cut into pieces approximately 2-3 inches in width and about… oh.. half an inch (more or less) high. (I use baguette bread, since it’s the most decent bread I can get here, and it can be cut into nice little rounds!)
- a tomato. or two.
- garlic (I LOVE garlic. Sometimes I use 4 cloves, but how much is entirely up to you)
- rosemary (dried OR preferably fresh)
- basil (dried OR preferably fresh)
- oregano (dried or… you know)
- parmesan cheese
- extra virgin (tee hee) olive oil
- salt & pepper (to taste)
Take your bread and slice it into nice little rounds as seen in the photo above. If you would like to toast your bread, you may do so at this point. I don’t own a toaster oven, so this step is impossible for me. I don’t mind not having toasted bread, but YOU might mind! Set this aside for later.
Peel and chop up your garlic. How small your garlic pieces are is entirely up to you. I peel the garlic then smash it with the side of the knife, THEN roughly chop it. Never a fine mince or whatever. Oh, and FOR THE LOVE OF PETE, DO NOT USE GARLIC POWDER.
In a small saucepan or sauté pan (or whatever small-ish pan you have handy, seriously, I don’t want you to have to wash a huge pan for this recipe) take a few tablespoons of your favorite extra virgin olive oil and sauté your chopped garlic AND some rosemary until the garlic has turned a nice golden brown color… but not dark brown or black. Those are the WRONG colors. If your garlic has turned either of those colors, throw everything away and start over again. You have failed.
Also. don’t forget the rosemary. It’s nice to sauté it a bit in the oil to soften it up (if its dried) and to infuse the olive oil.
Remove the olive oil/garlic/rosemary concoction from the heat. Set aside! For later!
Cut up your tomato(es). I like to dice mine. You probably should dice yours, too. Place in a separate bowl.
Then, in that bowl with your nice diced tomatoes, add your basil, oregano, and salt & pepper to taste. In a pinch, you can do just Italian seasoning mix, but like… where is the fun in that? Also, you may omit the salt, since parmesan cheese is kind of salty to begin with, but some kinds aren’t.
Stir! Gently! Don’t break those lovely tomato dices!!!!
Then! to your tomato-spice mixture add your now cooled olive oil/garlic/rosemary sauté mixture!! And stir gently once again…
Finally, add your parmesan cheese to the tomato mixture. This can be done AFTER or BEFORE you spoon the tomato mixture on top of your little slices of bread. I like to do it before, so everything is done in one fell swoop, but you can sprinkle it on top, as you please.
Spoon your mixture on top of your bread, as shown in the above photo!!
If you have a toaster oven (which, I reiterate, I do not.) you can also sprinkle the cheese on top of the tomatoes on top of the bread THEN toast the whole shebang, which is also quite fab. Either way, don’t forget the parmesan cheese!!!
Finally… in the words of the greatest of the greats, miss J. Child… Bon Appétit!!
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Ok, so this recipe can be modified to taste. You can add stuff, onion or arugula or olives or whatever, or replace the parmesan with asiago or another hard Italian cheese, or even throw some prosciutto on there, but seriously people, this is a good, basic bruschetta recipe. Have fun with it!! I know I did… and it made me feel better on such a crappy day :)