Let's Eat

Bruschetta with tomatoes and basil

(Jeff Parker for The Boston Globe)
By Allison Boomer
Globe Correspondent / July 28, 2010

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Serves 4

Ripe native tomatoes and thick slices of artisan bread are a happy pairing in bruschetta (pronounced BRUS ketta), the classic Italian appetizer that consists of country-style bread, fruity olive oil, tomatoes, and fragrant basil. To concentrate the tomato flavor, salt and drain the fruit to release excess juices. Bruschetta also can be a midday meal with a wedge of soft goat cheese and briny olives.

4 large ripe tomatoes, cored
Salt and pepper, to taste
8thick slices country bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 stems fresh basil, leaves finely shredded
1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Drop in the tomatoes, leave for 10 seconds, than transfer to a bowl of cold water. Peel the tomatoes, halve them horizontally, squeeze out the seeds, and chop the flesh. Transfer the mixture to a colander set over a bowl. Sprinkle the tomatoes with salt and set them aside for 15 minutes.

3. Lay the bread on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with some of the oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer to the oven and toast the bread for 15 minutes or until golden brown, turning once.

4. In bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, and remaining olive oil. Spoon the tomatoes on top.