Mama’s Bruschetta

I’ve been growing a few tomato plants this year in a small garden next to our house.  It’s actually pretty exciting to check the garden every day for ripe tomatoes that are ready for picking!

My toddler likes to search for ripe ones with me these days.  He points to the green ones and says, “Those not ready yet!” As he shakes his head “no.”  This makes me proud because I’ve been teaching him about “ripe” VS “still growing” and he gets it.

He finds the ripe ones and plucks them off the vine, one by one. Popping them in his mouth, tomato juice squirts all over his face.  The tiny seeds usually get stuck to his cheeks, chin, and neck.  This familiar scene never fails to make me smile.

We’re in the homestretch of summer here in New York, which means that even with just a few plants, there have been lots and lots of ripe tomatoes being picked every day at our house.

I love a fresh tomato bruschetta.  It’s fool-proof.  I always make this recipe “to taste.”  I never measure anything.  I eyeball it and constantly taste it to see what it needs.  Writing up this recipe forced me to stop and actually measure most of the ingredients I use, which I’ve literally never done before when making bruschetta.

I save the oil + vinegar and salt & pepper for the end.  That way, I can season as needed, until I’m happy with the flavors. You can do the same.

If you like your bruschetta with a bit of heat, try adding a few shakes of crushed red pepper. Our toddler loves to drink the vinaigrette this produces straight from a spoon, so I skip adding heat for this reason.

This tomato bruschetta recipe is 2-year-old approved. I think that says A LOT.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ingredients

3 cups fresh diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
2 fresh crushed garlic cloves
1/4 cup grated cheese
1/3 cup fresh copped basil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
a few splashes of olive oil to taste
a few splashes of balsamic vinegar to taste
salt & pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Begin by washing and dicing about 3 cups of tomatoes and adding to a medium-sized mixing bowl.  Again, I never measured the ingredients beforehand, so a little less or a little more does not harm, in my opinion.
  2. Add 1/2 cup of diced red onion.  (Hint: I dice the onions smaller than the tomatoes.  It’s a tomato bruschetta, not an onion bruschetta.)
  3. Peel and crush 2 gloves of fresh garlic and add to your bowl.
  4. Add 1/4 cup of your favorite grated cheese.  I used Romano for this one.
  5. Rinse, chop, and measure 1/3 cup fresh basil, firmly packed.  Add to bowl.
  6. Add 1/2 tsp dried oregano.
  7. Add a few splashes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar to taste.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Stir gently to incorporate ingredients with rubber spatula and let sit a few hours, overnight, or a full day in your refrigerator before serving.
  10. Before serving, take out of refrigerator to allow the olive oil to return to room temperature, since it will solidify while sitting in your fridge.  My favorite way to eat this tomato bruschetta is spooned over warm toasted slices of bread that have been rubbed with a fresh clove of garlic and drizzled with a bit of olive oil.  You can also spoon this fresh and tasty topping on chicken, meatballs, fish, a deli sandwich, “Italian” Chips and Salsa anyone?…So many options. Get creative.

Whether you grow your own tomatoes, or buy them at the store, you should make your own tomato bruschetta at some point in your life if you haven’t yet.  There’s nothing quite like it this time of year, or any time of year.  So fresh.  So delicious.  So worth it.

Happy Cooking!  🙂

-CCCara

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