*Pictures are at the bottom of the post
French Bread/Baguette or Crostini
1 Pint of Cherry Tomatoes [10 oz]
1/3 Cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/3 Cup shredded Romano Cheese
¼ Cup of Olive Oil
¼ Cup minced Garlic [6-8 cloves]
1 Tbs dried Basil [or 3 Tbs fresh finely chopped, if you have it]
1 Tbs Balsamic Vinegar [preferably aged]
Salt and Pepper to taste.
1 Tbs Pine Nuts
1 Tbs Ground Flax Seeds
1 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
Pour olive oil in a bowl, add basil, chopped garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well.
Dice cherry tomatoes, either cut them in 4’s or in 8’s, then add to mixture
Add balsamic vinegar, cheeses and all optional ingredients. Stir thoroughly to combine all ingredients well together.
Let stand for up to 15 minutes before spooning the mixture onto bread.
If you prefer crostini, brush bread slices with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper. Bake in 350 degree oven until golden brown, serve warm.
Good Cook Advisory:
Cherry Tomatoes –
I use cherry tomatoes, because they seem to have more flavor that any other tomato. I cut them with a seratted knife. I found its easier to use the whole blade, sliding down from base to tip of the knife, cutting a tomato half from inside, skin on the cutting board. You could also use orange and yellow cherry tomatoes, for more color. In fact they are more nutritious than their red counterparts.
Hard Cheeses –
I usually buy a block of hard cheeses and shred them myself as a recipe calls for it. One cubic inch of any hard cheese yields from 1/4 to 1/3 cup of grated cheese. Moreover fresh off the block is always better in my opinion, than store-bought shredded cheese.
I smash my garlic flat of the cutting board after peeling it. It releases oils and brings a much more potent flavor to the dish
Note: To get rid of garlic smell from your hands, rub your hands on stainless steel. Your metal sink will work fine. It will remove the oils from your skin.
I don’t like to keep fresh basil in my house, because it withers too soon. For bruschetta I usually use dried basil. I let it sit in the oil along with garlic to flavor the oil.
Balsamic Vinegar –
I add it to pesto to prevent browning from oxidation. A lemon of lime would work just fine, though I prefer vinegar, because it makes it taste more authentic. I like my vinegar aged, it tastes a bit sweeter and more potent.
© Tatyana Bondarenko 2013