The secret to coming back from a country where the food is infinitely better than that of your own homeland is to not touch anything remotely like that country’s food for at least a month upon returning. The pasta in Rome was the best I’ve ever had. I’ve eaten almost no pasta since December. It’s a purposeful thing. This way, when I do get back to my frequent pasta consuming ways, my daily doses of carbonara, cacio e pepe, and all’amatriciana are distant memories.
When in Rome, I don’t know that I truly did as the Romans, but I did my darndest to eat like them. And they are a people who love bruschetta. As I am also a people who love bruschetta, this worked in my favor when we ordered our antipasti each evening. After two months of being stateside, I was overdue for more bruschetta.
What I love most about Italian food–real Italian food– is that it’s a combination of the most basic flavors in the best possible way. This bruschetta pomodoro has bread, olive oil, salt, basil, tomatoes, and garlic, and you can taste each and every element in each and every bite. There’s an unrivaled brightness to this kind of cooking that always keeps me coming back for just one more bite.
Lucky for me, these are only a two-bite comittment.
To make about 20, you will need:
- 2 large cloves garlic, separated
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
- 8-10 basil leaves, julienned
- baguette, sliced 1/2 inch thick
- olive oil
Put your broiler on while you start slicing the baguettes. Place the slices on a foil-lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Slice one clove of garlic in half and rub cut side on each slice of bread. Broil 6-7 minutes, until lightly browned.
Meanwhile, mince the other clove of garlic, and combine it with tomatoes, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes so the flavors come together. Spoon on top of toasts and serve at room temperature.
*Bruschetta make a lovely addition to any party spread, especially if the spread is not your own. Prep the toasts and the toppings separately and store each in sealed containers (making sure the toasts are completely cooled before storing them). Bring a platter and a spoon to your destination and assemble on the spot. Maybe this is the answer to your next, “What can I bring?”