Monday, February 28, 2011

Tomato, Red Onion, and Basil Bruschetta

  • 3 cups assorted cherry, grape, and teardrop tomatoes, halved (or quartered if large)
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil plus additional for brushing 
  • 3 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh basil 
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 large loaf focaccia, halved horizontally 
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, halved  
  • Optional: fresh parmesean, grated
  1. Combine tomatoes, finely chopped onion, 3 tablespoons olive oil, chopped fresh basil, and balsamic vinegar in medium bowl; season tomato topping with salt and pepper. DO AHEAD: Topping can be made 2 hours ahead. 
  2. Cover and let stand at room temperature, tossing occasionally.  Preheat broiler. Place focaccia half, cut side up, on baking sheet; brush bread with olive oil. Toast bread in broiler until top is golden brown, watching closely to avoid burning, about 2 minutes.
  3. Immediately rub cut side of bread all over with halved garlic, then cut focaccia into equal pieces.  Top toasted focaccia with tomato mixture, parmesean and serve.  NOTE: if you are not serving immediately, I would recommend letting people top their own bread, this will keep the bread from getting soggy.

***Note: I didn't have any large garlic cloves, so I used some minced garlic and mixed it with the olive oil to brush the focaccia with.  Also, I cashed out on the more expensive cherry tomatoes because there isn't much tomato variety in the middle of winter and it turned out great - I wouldn't skimp here.  Also made the two hours in advance and recommend that as well.  This recipe is one I adapted from Bon AppĂ©tit.

I made this as an appetizer for my book club and it was a big hit - not a drop left over!  I really loved the balsamic vinegar in it too.  Will definitely make this one again, and can't wait to use a variety of tomatoes when they are in season.  It was very easy to do and more "special" than something I could buy at a store.  For me, that's a perfect appetizer!

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