Thursday, May 17, 2012

Caprese Bruschetta

Who doesn't love a Caprese salad?  You know, with juicy tomatoes, fresh basil, soft mozzarella, and tangy balsamic vinegar.  Well I know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE it but I also love bread and bruschetta.  Of course, whenever I cook an Italian meal, I always want all three of those delicious appetizers before the main meal.  The only problem is, I would stuff my face with all of the addicting apps before me and end up becoming way too full before the main dish even came out of the oven.  I really wanted to fix this problem and somehow get all of the fresh appetizers in one bite without getting too full before my pasta came out of the over.. and then one day, it came to me.

Caprese Bruschetta.

Caprese salad. Bread. Bruschetta.  I get all three in one small bite... brilliant.

This bruschetta is honestly one of the best.  Even my little brother who hates, and I mean HATES, tomatoes eats this bruschetta by the dozen.  He once told me it beat out all restaurant bruschetta- and I must say, I have to agree.  I promise the second you bite into this little toast of delicousness, you will be making sure it is on your menu every time you cook an Italian meal.

So go be amazed and whip up some of this stuff. GOOD stuff. You will be amazed... and addicted. :)  Oh, and one more thing- make sure you make this earlier in the day, before you want to serve it.  The tomatoes need to sit in the vinegar in order for it to be delish! You can even make it the evening before!

10 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/3 cup chopped basil
Balsamic vinegar, to coat tomatoes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 French baguette (I usually get the take n' bake kind)
1 ball fresh mozzarella
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Chop tomatoes in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon.  Throw away seeds.

Chop tomatoes, depending on how chunky you want your bruschetta, and place in large bowl.

Chop fresh basil leaves and add to bowl.

Mix together.  Sprinkle in salt and pepper and combine.  Pour balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes, making sure the majority of the tomatoes are submerged in vinegar.  Stir.

Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

When ready to serve, take out French baguette.  Bake accordingly to package if you bought the take n' bake kind.  Slice bread into thin slices.

Lay out bread slices on a cookie sheet.  In a small bowl, add extra virgin olive oil and chopped garlic.  Microwave for one minute.

Brush garlic infused EVOO on bread, make sure you get pieces of garlic on each slice of bread!

Thinly slice mozzarella cheese, you probably won't use the whole ball- but feel free to :)

Place mozzarella cheese evenly on top of olive oil-brushed slices of bread.

Place cookie sheet in oven and turn broiler on High.  Watch carefully and let cheese melt and the bread toast. (It is okay if the bread slightly burns! You want this cheese melted!)

Take toasts out and set aside.  Take tomato mixture out of refrigerator and stir.  Take a warm toast and top with as much tomato mixture as you'd like!  (The vinegar can make the toast soggy so sometimes I pile up the tomatoes on the side of the toast and then pile on as I eat!  Do NOT drain the tomatoes from the vinegar when you are ready to serve, believe me, you want that delicious vinegar, use the bread to sop it all up!)

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