Summertime Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Summer is still in full swing and my garden is producing more tomatoes than I know what to do with, so I’m making ton of different recipes to use them up and this one was a real winner! My husband, Shane, is one heck of a baker and he made 2 heavenly wild fermented country loaves last week so I made this Bruschetta in order to showcase his amazing bread and my tomatoes. It’s a very simple recipe that makes a very delicious dish that is perfect on a hot day with a chilled glass of white wine.  

When you make this be sure to use really good bread and very flavorful tomatoes as this recipe is only as good as the sum of its parts, good ingredients make good food! Really rub the garlic into the bread when it is still very hot so the garlic will cook a little and lose that powerful raw garlic flavor that punches you in the face.  If you have left over marinated tomato mixture, blend it up with a spoonful of Dijon mustard, a little garlic, and olive oil and turn it into a fresh tomato balsamic vinaigrette!! Serve this as an appetizer or along side some grilled meat to make a tasty meal.    Serves 8

Ingredients

For the toast:

2 large Baguettes sliced on the diagonal or 1 Country Loaf cut into 1 inch thick slices and then sliced in half like in the photo above-enough to make 20-25 slices

1 cup olive oil

1-2 cloves fresh garlic

Good sea salt or Kosher salt

For the tomato mixture:

3 pounds fresh organic tomatoes, chopped (feel free to use different kinds of tomatoes so you can have lots of color and flavor. I love using plum, teardrop, and cherry tomatoes-their texture holds up better and they are usually very sweet). If you can only find large tomatoes with a lot of seeds, remove some so the tomato sauce doesn't get too watery.

1 cup packed sweet basil such as Genovese cut into a chiffonade (that’s not as fancy pants as is sounds, basically it’s just cutting the basil into thin ribbons-here is a how to)

5 tablespoons good quality Balsamic Vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large saucepan, add enough olive oil to cover to bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Heat over medium flame until very hot and shimmering when the pan is tilted but not smoking.  

Add a few pieces of sliced bread at a time to the pan and sauté until golden brown on each side. Remove from pan and immediately sprinkle with salt and vigorously rub the toasted bread with a clove of garlic on one side (use tongs to hold the bread if needed since the bread is pretty hot). Repeat with remaining slices of bread and add more oil as you go since the bread will soak up the olive oil.

In a large bowl add the chopped tomatoes, basil, salt-approximately 1 tablespoon, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and pepper. Gently toss to combine being careful not to smash the tomatoes and taste for seasoning. Transfer the tomato mixture to a serving bowl and serve along side the warm bread slices.  Have your guests spoon the tomato mixture over their toast and enjoy!

Health Tips: cherry tomatoes are on the Environmental Working Group's Dirty Dozen list so be sure to buy them organic since the conventional ones are very contaminated with chemicals even after being washed.  

Also, grains can be very hard to digest due to the phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, disaccharides, and complex proteins (like Gluten) they contain. Soaking, fermenting, and sprouting grains can make them easier to digest so that's how we eat them in our house.  Bread is a treat for us, not a staple in our diet so when we have it it's made from organic flour and fermented over a day or two.  Here is a helpful article that goes into the details of why grains are hard to digest.  If you have digestion issues, taking time to be without grains can be very healing to the gut.