Local produce is still in full swing, and I couldn’t resist sampling another recipe with the Growing Garden’s organic tomatoes and bunched basil.
I chose to make tomatoes the focus this month for another reason as well – September marked the launch of a farm-to-school program in Whatcom County schools. The idea is to feature one locally/Washington grown produce item at participating schools each month so there is a greater connection between local schools and farmers. September is tomato month in the Northwest, so it was the obvious choice (next month is broccoli/cauliflower month).
While looking for recipes, I learned something new: bruschetta actually only refers to the bread once it has been toasted and rubbed with olive oil and raw garlic. I always assumed it referred to the whole kit and caboodle! Regardless, it is a popular antipasti (or appetizer) in Italy and is very easy to make.
In addition to the Growing Garden’s tomatoes and basil, I also used the locally produced BIJA Greek extra virgin olive oil. For the bruschetta, I wanted to have a couple of options, so I used the local Breadfarm hoagies and Against the Grain Gourmet’s gluten-free baguette (which is my current gf obsession!). My husband suggested the hoagies, which worked out really well and I definitely recommend giving them a try. I must say, it was like flies being drawn to honey once I had the samples ready – they were gone before I knew it. Usually only demos involving chocolate go that fast!
Tomato and Basil Bruschetta
6 large Roma tomatoes or 5-6 in-season tomatoes
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
2-3 T extra virgin olive oil, + more for brushing bread
2 1/2 t balsamic vinegar
3 T freshly chopped basil, about 10-12 leaves
1/2 t sea salt
1/4 t fresh cracked pepper
Baguette, cut into 1/2”-1” slices
Grated Parmesan Reggiano
1. Whisk the chopped garlic, vinegar, salt, pepper and basil in a large bowl.
2. Add the oil in a slow drizzle and whisk to combine.
3. Add the tomatoes and let them sit at room temperature for about 20 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, toast the bread: put sliced bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Brush them lightly on one side with more olive oil. Put them under the broiler for about 5 minutes, but watch them closely to make sure that they don’t burn!
5. Take the bread out of the oven and rub one side of each piece with a clove of garlic.
6. Top the bruschetta with the tomato basil mixture (drain any juice that accumulated).
7. To serve warm, arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet, top with a little parmesan, and broil until the cheese melts. To serve room temperature, top with parmesan and serve!