Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You say tomato... I say bruschetta!

I came across some particularly gorgeous looking baby Roma tomatoes when I was at the greengrocer the other day and they were the inspiration for today's recipe. Very simple but just so delicious -  and perfect for a light lunch, an entree or finger food (if you want to scale it down to smaller pieces). Try to have your tomatoes at room temperature for this dish (or any dish for that matter) as the natural flavour and sweetness of the fruit is much more pronounced. If you don't believe me, try eating a tomato right out of the fridge and then one that has been sitting in the fruit bowl for an hour and you will see what I mean.

This bruschetta is made extra delicious with the addition of Fontina cheese, slices of proscuitto and fresh thyme. Use any cheese you like - even some crumbled feta or soft goat cheese would work well. Don't even consider making this unless the tomatoes are fabulous. I find that often the small cherry tomato are tastier than a lot of the larger tomatoes in supermarkets, so if the larger ones don't inspire you, then check out the smaller varieties. And if you are lucky enough to grow your own tomatoes, then you are well and truly sorted!

Roma tomato bruschetta with proscuitto and fontina cheese

So, what did I do?
I'm not bothering too much with precise measurements here - just use as much bread and tomatoes as you need for the number of people you want to feed and taste as you go. Easy.

Chop the tomatoes and combine with a handful of fresh parsley. Add some fresh thyme (remove the woody stalks so there are soft leaves only), a splash of good extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Taste and add more salt and pepper if required. (Try not to add too much oil or vinegar - you don't want the tomato mixture to have too much moisture)

Now, in a cup,  mix some fresh thyme and a couple of cloves of minced garlic with olive oil. Lightly toast sliced rustic style bread - sourdough or ciabiatta is ideal. Then, brush both sides of the bread with the oil. Top with a slice of the cheese and a slice of proscuitto. Pop in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese has just melted. (I prefer it when the cheese is not browned, but do whatever you prefer)

Top with the tomato mixture, freshly ground pepper and a little extra fresh thyme. Serve right away. Delicious!


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