Tomato and Basil Bruschetta!

For those who don`t know, bruscetta is an antipasto from Italy consisting of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil, salt and pepper. Basically, it`s a fancy pants word for yummy bread with yummy toppings. It looks complicated and really nice and everything but is really easy to make! I usually make these as appetizers for dinner parties and holiday parties and everyone usually loves them! Like I said really easy to make and a big hit at parties so give it a try with my recipe below!

6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Boil the tomatoes for a minute. Drain and remove the skin, seeds, and juice. Cut into quarters or halves.
2. Preheat oven for 450 F.
3. While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. lice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down.
5. Toast for about 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.

I also top with a little cheese or other toppings I like like mushrooms. Another thing instead of tomato and basil I do is imitation crab and shrimp which is always a big hit. :)

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