Friday, March 14, 2014

Tradition Shmradition, Local Shmlocal: Zippy Bruschetta

Would you like to see something beautiful? Great! Here you go:


I'd love to take credit for it but I can't. Four of the ten strangers at last night's Mambo Italiano class made that tomatoey deliciousness. I know tomatoes are not quite in season, but temperatures above freezing sure made it seem like (relative) summer yesterday. And nothing says summer like freshly diced, gorgeous, juicy, fragrant tomatoes (from another hemisphere, chopped perfectly by someone other than myself). 

This recipe is a good example of my style of food preparation/recipe development. I like a lot of flavor, so I add a lot of ingredients. Is this approach for everyone? No. Is simpler better? Yes, sometimes. But other times, like this time, you just want the best-tasting bruschetta ever, tradition and simplicity be damned. So mix it up with dijon and dried marjoram. They're delicious.

Last night's class participants: I had a great time. Thanks for being so helpful and inquisitive and all-around spectacular. xoxo

Zippy Bruschetta
Yield: 6-8 people as a starter

1-2 large baguettes
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 lbs firm, fresh tomatoes, hulled, and finely chopped (could substitute 28-oz can diced tomatoes, partly drained)
1 shallot, minced
3-5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon dried basil, parsley, or Golden Figs Dynamite Herbs
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ cup red wine vinegar (or balsamic vinegar in a pinch)
¼ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine tomatoes and remaining ingredients and toss gently. Set aside and allow flavors to marry for several minutes.

Meanwhile, slice baguette thinly (about ½” thick). Brush one side of each slice with olive oil and place on baking sheet(s), olive oil side down. Bake on top rack until toasty, about 5-6 minutes.

Remove bread from oven and place slices on a serving platter. Using a slotted spoon, top each slice of bread with about 2 tablespoons of tomato-garlic-vinaigrette mixture. Serve immediately.

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