Tomato Bruschetta with Basil Oil
Mess Level: Low
Yield: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: None
- 1 Baguette
- 2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes (Heirloom if available)
- 1 Cup Packed Basil Leaves
- 1 Cup Olive or Grapeseed Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Oil or Melted Butter
- Coarse Kosher Salt to Taste
- Pepper to Taste
- 1 Large Garlic Clove (Optional)
- ½ Cup Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
- Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit OR to grill the bread: heat your grill, cut the loaf in half lengthwise, oil it and grill it for 1-2 minutes till grill marks appear.)
- Set aside about six, large basil leaves and transfer the rest to the blender with ¼ teaspoon of salt. Add ½ cup of oil and then blend on a low-speed slowing adding more oil until you reach a pourable consistency. Set aside.
- Halve or slice all the cherry tomatoes and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Chiffonade your basil leaves and toss them with the tomates.
- Cut your baguette on a bias, cutting the slices about 1 inch thick. Lay them on a sheet pan and brush them lightly with oil or butter, then lightly sprinkle them with salt. Bake for 4-6 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. I prefer the middles still soft.
- While the bread is baking, toss your tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the bread is cool enough to handle, rub the tops with the clove of garlic.
- Transfer to a serving platter or board and spoon on your tomatoes. Drizzle with basil oil and balsamic reduction. Enjoy!
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What is a chiffonade?
- It's not an ingredient, it's a technique!
A chiffonade is when you stack up some herb leaves, roll it tightly like a snake (or a doobie), and cut across it to make little herb ribbons.
Do I really need the balsamic stuff?
- Only if you want this to turn out amazing...
Balsamic reduction is like magic. You can buy it bottled at the grocery store but it’s so easy to make! Plus if your first attempt is a fail just try again! It's just simmered vinegar.
Does grilling the bread make a difference?
- When have you ever been sad about grilling?
Toasting is fine but grilling is my FAVORITE way to have bread! You’ll just be cutting the baguette a little differently because you’ll want to grill it in two pieces, not twelve.
Can I make this ahead of time?
- Prep: Yes, Assemble: No
You can, it won’t be as great as fresh but you can prep everything, just don’t assemble it until right before serving.
Ramblings of a Line Cook
Have you ever eaten something so simple but prepared so well it just left you speechless? What comes to my mind is a perfectly cooked egg and a piece of warm, buttered toast. Can anyone make eggs and toast? Sure, but someone that knows how to coax those things into their very best will turn a 30 cent egg into a masterpiece.
Today I challenge you to make this simple dish THE BEST tomato bruschetta ever! I want you to experience that amazingly toasty, but chewy bread. Those tomatoes that we didn’t salt too early so they’re not sitting limp in a puddle of their juices, that basil oil that adds so much flavor, and the balsamic that ties it all together.
The secret to this dish is going to be salt. You’ll notice we’re salting almost everything - The bread, the tomatoes, and the basil oil. This doesn’t mean your dish should taste salty, salt is an enhancer so instead of tasting plain tomato’s or tasting salt, you should taste tomato x100!
The bread already has some salt in it, but we’re going to add just a sprinkle more. We’re salting in layers so you can really control it!
You might notice the balsamic reduction needs no salt. That’s because when we reduced it, we evaporated most of its water and made it more potent by about 100%! So we don’t really want to add on to that, it’s like getting your hair trimmed; when it’s good, it’s good... Don’t keep snipping.
Now the last, and final way you can make this dish amazing. Tomato season is upon us so you should spend an extra dollar and get yourself some ripe, heirloom tomatoes. You will be so, so happy you did. In season tomatoes are like summer love. Brief, amazing, and leaving you with fond memories.
Now that I’ve got you all starry-eyed about the perfection of this dish I must admit when I made it I got distracted and toasted my bread too long, didn’t tell anyone, and it was still amazing. 😉 You’ve got so many great things going on this will be delicious no matter the level of perfection.