Marco’s Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta (and, how to hear about new recipes on Twitter)
Years ago, my friend Marco (from Livorno in Italy) made my family a beautiful and simple dinner of buttered pasta with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and this gorgeous bruschetta with fresh tomato. The cheese was brought from his mother’s kitchen in Livorno, but the fruit were perfect locally grown heirloom tomatoes. Someone recently gave my wife and me some heirloom Brandywine tomatoes, vine-ripened, and we thought of Marco. This dish is really just tomatoes on toast, but it manages to approach the sublime — that’s why it went into our book. To hear about new recipes when they’re posted here, follow me on Twitter if you’re already signed up, or join Twitter today. For more about our bruschetta recipe, from page 49, read on…
Start with bursting-with-flavor tomatoes, here, a 2-pound heirloom variety called Brandywine. They’re not bred for travel or storage, so they tend to look kind of ugly and unevenly ripened. But beauty is only skin-deep:
As soon as I sliced into it, I saw that it was tomato perfection and knew that it should become bruschetta — nothing more than sliced tomato and basil with garlic and salt, on grilled Peasant Bread like the one you can bake from the book):
I just toasted the sliced bread (you can use stale bread for this dish and it’s terrific). Slice the tomato thinly and then cut a large garlic clove straight across so you have a flat surface to rub against each piece of toast…
… like so:
The longer and more firmly you rub toast with the raw garlic, the more garlicky it will be. Arrange the slices in a baking dish or a cast-iron pan and drizzle olive oil over the slices with a food-safe squeeze bottle (be generous)…
Arrange the tomato slices over the bread…
… and sprinkle the tomato generously with coarse salt:
Roughly chop some fresh basil and scatter over the tomato:
Bake in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 degrees Celsius) for about 5 minutes, until heated through. You don’t want to cook the tomatoes, but the heat will concentrate the flavor and allow essence of the tomato to blend with the garlic and the bread. It’s the easiest appetizer we make in my house.
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4 thoughts on “Marco’s Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta (and, how to hear about new recipes on Twitter)”
Mmm!! This looks so tasty! I love Italian food! The best recipies are often the simple ones!
Italian food writers always say that same thing. Italian food is meant to be simple, to allow the flavor of the ingredients to shine. Jeff
Wow, this looks great! A friend just dropped off some heirlooms yesterday, I just made another pizza with some boule dough (that turned out too wet this time so I had to use quite a bit of flour rolling out) and a roasted red pepper too.
I am loving this book, thanks for your nice comment on my blog!
Hi Erika: Roasted red pepper is a great thing to use as well. Whatever’s freshest and most flavorful will infuse the flatbread. I’m jealous of September heirlooms. Jeff