Bruschetta with tomatoes, basil, pimiento and cheese
What is bruschetta? In a nutshell, it’s toasted bread. It just sounds sexy and mysterious because… well, because it’s Italian! Beyond the sexy name that conjures images of sipping espresso in an outdoor cafe or drinking wine on a rustic balcony overlooking acres and acres of vineyards, it is just toasted bread. What makes bruschetta special is its preparation and what goes on top. Anything can go on top, really — from inexpensive vegetables to the rarest ham. How you execute the topping is what will make or break your bruschetta. Clearly, not all toasts are created equal.
Traditionally, bruschetta is served as an appetizer. But when you have four pieces of bruschetta and you’re alone in the house, it is filling enough for lunch.
Traditionally, bruschetta is made with country-style crusty bread. But this is the Philippines, all I had were two pieces of pan de sal that had been sitting in the freezer for a couple of days. I simply cut off the rounded tops, split the now flat-looking bread into halves and went on to make my delicious bruschetta.
- 4 slices of bread
- 2 tomatoes, blanched and peeled (see the tomato sauce recipe for a visual guide)
- 1 pimiento, roasted and peeled (see how to roast and skin chili and bell pepper)
- 12 basil chiffonade (see tips)
- 1 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
- a pinch of salt
- a pinch of pepper
- 4 tbsps. of grated cheese
- one large clove of garlic
- Preheat the oven to 400F.
- Scoop out the seeds of the tomatoes and discard. Cut the flesh into thin slices.
- Do the same with the pimiento.
- Place the tomato, pimiento, basil leaves, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the tablespoonful of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Toss lightly.
- Place the bread slices on a baking tray and toast in the oven until the edges are lightly browned. Alternatively, use a grill.
- Cut the garlic diagonally to expose the center. Rub the cut side of the garlic on the toasted bread.
- Drizzle the bread slices with olive oil.
- Return the bread to the oven and toast for another minute or two.
- Take the bread out of the oven.
- Spoon the tomato-pimiento-basil mixture over each slice.
- Top with the grated cheese and enjoy!
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) , assuming you have already blanched your tomatoes and roasted your pimiento
Cooking time: 5 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 1