Saturday, December 3, 2011

Birthday Bruschetta

My co-worker Sally just celebrated her birthday so, at her request, I made her bruschetta for her birthday treat!  Bruschetta (pronounced brew-skeh-ta or brew-sheh-ta).  I little history, because we all like to know about what we eat, yes?

Bruschetta is an antipasto from Italy whose origin dates to at least the 15th century. It consists of roasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Variations may include toppings of spicy red pepper, tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, or cheese.  The most popular recipe outside of Italy involves basil (check), fresh tomato (check), garlic (check) and onion (hmmm maybe next time) or mozzarella (check). Bruschetta is usually served as a snack or appetizerFollowing a semantic shift, some Americans used the word bruschetta to refer to the topping instead of the dish. Many grocery store chains in the United States now sell bottled "bruschetta," which is typically tomatoes, onion, garlic, and herbs.

Ok on to the cooking!

First cut your tomatoes in half and the seed them.  This keeps your topping less watery, another reason that plum/roma tomatoes are used.  Larger beefsteak tomatoes 1. are only hot house (eew) in the winter and 2. are much "wetter".

I simply run my thumb under the seeds and they come right out.  There are 3 - 4 "chambers" of seeds in each tomato so make sure you get them all.

I found these really cute miniature baguettes at the store...ok who am I kidding, I used these only because this was the only baguette they carried!  I was a bit shocked seeing how they carried "everything" French bread, rye loaves, wheat deli hot dog buns. One would think that a French baguette would be consumed more than those other items. Anyway, they were just as good and suited my needs.  I did have to bake them since they were only par baked. 

Next removed the pretty green leaves from the stem and chop of any little stems on the leaves.  Then chiffonade the basil.  This is a technique in which herbs or leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and basil) are cut into long, thin strips.  You stack the leaves in a neat little pile (see cooking is made for ocd people like me), then make a little roll of the herbs (real garden herbs people, stick with me here).  Then chop into small strips.

Cube the mozzarella.  I did about 1/4 in cubes.  Now I think that fresh mozzarella is fantastic but it wasn't in my budget for a recipe calling for 3c. 

Combine all the prepped ingredients.  If you're storing this over night you may want to mix in a bowl that has a lid if you have one.  Less dishes!
Everybody in the pool!

See all those beautiful flavors being friends.  Trust me they'll be a party in your mouth!
After marinating overnight.
I cut the bread at work and toasted them in a toaster oven.  Worked great (see college folk you can do this too and totally impress your friends).

Here's your reward!

You can serve with the topping cold or...

Broil it a few minutes and get the cheese warm and gooey.  I personally preferred the warm gooey version but who am I to judge. So Sally I hope that your birthday was amazing.  Glad I have gotten to know you!

Until we eat again!

Tomato tomato bruschetta


  • 10 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil, stems removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 French baguettes
  • 3 cups cubed mozzarella cheese


  1. Preheat the oven on broiler setting.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, pepper, and mozzarella. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes or overnight.
  3. Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
  4. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices.
  5. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.