A few weeks ago, I went to a BBQ at a good friend’s place. I love BBQs because they’re great opportunities to share good food with friends and family. I thought a quick and easy appetizer would be the best option to bring to the party. Bruschetta is as easy as it comes, not to mention how freaking delicious it is. Bruschetta refers to the toasted bread, and it can be topped with any delicious combination like cheese, peppers, and meats, to name some options. My all-time favorite is the classic Tomato & Basil salad because it’s light and healthy too.
Tomato & Basil Bruschetta
Makes 14-16 servings
1 loaf of your favorite baguette or garlic bread, sliced
1 pound of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of black pepper
Balsamic vinaigrette, just enough to coat the mixture
Hella basil leaves, roughly chopped**
Pre-heat the oven to 400′ and slice the bread into 1/4″ slices. Lightly brush the slices with oil. Place the slices on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes or less until they are golden brown and crispy. Watch this carefully because they can burn easily and quickly. Once it is done, take it out to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the chopped cherry tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper. I recommend cherry tomatoes because they don’t have as many seeds as regular tomatoes. Regular tomatoes have a lot of seeds and liquid which dilutes the salad and its dressing. Salt really helps the natural flavors of the tomatoes to come out, so don’t skip that part. Stir the mixture, and then add the vinaigrette. **DO NOT add the basil until right before serving. They grab onto moisture quickly and wilt. When this happens, it loses all its amazing flavor. So, wait right before you bring it out for guests to enjoy.
You can serve the bruschetta in two ways: (1) top each piece of toast with the salad or (2) leave it in the bowl and let others make it themselves. Another great way to enjoy this tomato & basil salad is to put it on top of a protein like chicken or shrimp. It’s simply delicious!
Happy and healthy eating, friends.