Jersey Tomato Bruschetta

The tomatoes took their sweet time ripening this season but they have arrived in full force. Hefty plums and heirlooms in rainbow hues join crowd favorite – the beefsteaks hit the market.

Any way you slice it; everyone knows Jersey tomatoes are the best tomatoes. And if you have picked them recently, the uglier they look, the sweeter they taste.

I can remember my mother when I was a kid each summer eating them like apples. Some salt and she was good to go. Now, my father lives with us and even he finds himself at the corner farmers market each week grabbing a few to make bruschetta for dinner.

By the way, it is NEVER pronounced “broo-shetta”. In Italian, the letter combination of CH is pronounced as a hard K. Think about it...how do you pronounce Chianti? Hence, “bruschetta” is pronounced “broo-sketta”.

Many times especially in the summer, I’m not looking to cook an elaborate dinner. I’m looking to sit on my deck, have a beer and nosh on something easy.

This is why bruschetta is perfect.

One of the best parts of making bruschetta is that it takes nearly no time to throw together, yet the amount of flavor and freshness leaves you feeling as though you’ve worked all afternoon to create these little bites of perfection.

Jersey Tomato & Basil Bruschetta

  • 3 Ripe Jersey tomatoes, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed

  • 2 shallots, small diced

  • 10 fresh basil leaves, julienne

  • 3 Tbs olive oil

  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar

  • 1 loaf French bread

  • 3 cloves garlic, whole

  • salt & pepper to taste

Method:

Combine diced tomatoes, shallots, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and basil in a bowl, stir. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes.

Slice the loaf of bread, on the bias, into 3/4-inch slices. Place bread in oven on sheet pan and broil until golden brown on both sides, approximately 2 minutes for the first side and 1 to 1 1/2 for second side. Remove to a platter and rub each slice of bread with the garlic and then brush with olive oil. Using a slotted spoon, top with tomatoes and serve immediately.


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