TOMATOES ARE RIPE FOR THE PICKING!
Every year, our family looks forward to the time that we can plant our tomatoes! Even better…the time when we get to pick them!
There is nothing like the taste of a freshly picked, vine ripened tomato! Whether it is from a local farm stand or grown in your garden. It is the taste of summer!
With tomatoes overflowing in the garden, we love to make Bruschetta with our tomatoes. My husband is known for his Bruschetta. It is always better when he makes it with our fresh garden tomatoes and basil. Michael has grown up watching us eat it.
In the early years, the appetizer had no appeal to him. In the last few years, he has started to show an interest. “What does it taste like?”,he would ask.
His introduction to Bruschetta started with the grilling of a piece of his French stick brushed with extra-virgin olive oil and browned on the barbeque. (he was unable to try the Calabrese bread we had purchased at the local bakery due to traces of peanut/tree nuts, dairy, egg and sesame that the bread may or may not have come in contact with) Yummy! He was now included in our Bruschetta ritual.
Before too long, he became interested in the tomato topping. “What does it taste like?” he would ask. “Try it!” we would answer. He would sample a bit, unsure if he really liked it or not. You could see he really wanted to like it. Every year he would announce how much he looked forward to Bruschetta and every year he would taste a little bit more of the tomato topping.
Last summer,2010, was the breakthrough year for Bruschetta for Michael. This summer…..he is eating enough Bruschetta for a meal! (Matthew is still in the trying stages! He enjoys the toasted French stick.)
Andy and I have never followed nor written out a recipe for Bruschetta. We just ‘wing it!’ As an aid for those who like to follow a recipe, I have come up with a basic recipe that one can adjust to your own tastes.
5 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup packed fresh basil, chopped
breadmaker french stick, thinly sliced
(Andy also likes to add freshly chopped parsley and chives from our garden)
Mix all the above ingredients into a bowl.
Cover and let rest for the flavours to mingle. (Best to make the day before and store in the fridge.)
Slice French Stick bread into thin slices.
Brush both sides with extra-virgin olive oil.
Grill both sides on barbeque until golden brown. (For a quick snack, Michael toasts his slices in the toaster and drizzles with extra virgin olive oil)
Top with tomato mixture.
Michael’s Tip: Many non-tomato lovers have been converted to loving my Dad’s garden tomato bruschetta. My late grandfather being one!
Have you adapted similar recipes for your own food allergy needs? I’d love to hear about them. Please share in the comments!