Oh it is cold outside and I love the smell of crusty hot fresh bread. Especially when it is coming out of my oven. This french bread recipe is one of my favorites, not only is it easy, it is so delicious. People will wonder which bakery you bought it from.
I love turning it into garlic bread, croutons, and just eating it with a little bit of butter. This Tomato & Basil Bruschetta is a great way to finish up the end of the season garden goodies. Top it with a little bit of fresh mozzarella and I am in heaven.
- 6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1½ lbs) peeled, seeded,and chopped
- 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
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.
- While the oven is heating, 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.
- Slice the bread on a diagonal about ½ 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. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.
- 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.
- Serves 6-10 as an appetizer. Or 3-4 for lunch. You may want to top with some fresh mozzarella cheese (optional)
- Yield: Makes 24 small slices.