Next time you have friends over,  take 10 minutes and make a fresh, healthy and delicious appetizer;  summer tomato bruschetta.  

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. diced summer tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, worked through garlic press
  • 1/4 c. good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of half lemon
  • 8-10 basil leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons
  • paprika, to taste
  • good sea salt, to taste
  • red bell pepper
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • sour baguette, sliced into 1/2 in. discs at an angle

If you are roasting a pepper, start by turning on a burner and placing the pepper on top. Blacken the skin evenly by using tongs to turn periodically. When the pepper is completely blackened, remove from flame and allow to cool. Scrape off blackened skin with a dull knife or fork, remove seeds, dice and set aside.

In the meantime preheat oven to 325 F and slice bread. Combine first 9 ingredients in a mixing bowl. Some people add sugar, but I prefer to add a splash of balsamic vinegar if I want a little more sweetness. Paprika is also optional, but I find it adds a nice, subtle complexity. Don’t be shy with your sea salt in this recipe. Allow mixture to marinate briefly, stirring occasionally.

Next brush your baguette slices on one side with olive oil and place in warm oven. Toast for 6-10 minutes. Monitor carefully and do not allow to burn.

Place baguette slices on your serving plate and heap marinated tomatoes on top. Add extra small spoonfuls of juice on top of the mixture to add flavor and soften bread.

Last thing left is to crack some champagne, and you’re ready to serve! 🙂

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