It's Farmer's Market season! This means lots more fresh produce and delicious opportunities to experiment with foods. This week I got a lovely baguette and decided to make a simple bruschetta recipe in order to take full advantage of the bread.
Time out. Have I talked about our container garden yet? No. So this year I decided to try my hand at Growing Things In The Backyard. But I don't trust myself to plant things in the ground, so instead I made a container garden on the porch. This is what we are growing: tomatoes, strawberries, butter lettuce, spinach, anaheim chiles, cilantro, basil, dill, parsley, and sage. And the lemon tree is finally maturing to a point where he's going to start making lemons, though it'll still be awhile before they're edible. Oh! And we just discovered a huge tangle of raspberry vines in the backyard, around a mangled tree. So this is very exciting.
The tomatoes have not yet grown, though the plant is enormous, but the basil is tall so I used some of that in this recipe. I can't wait until we can use our own tomatoes! I followed the recipe pretty closely but only added a tiny bit of balsamic to the tomatoes and then sprinkled the tops with a nice balsamic glaze (it's balsamic that's been reduced to a thick, syrupy sauce). I also added some toasted pine nuts. It was so beautiful and delicious. I will make this all summer.
The Pioneer Woman
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 pint yellow grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
16 whole basil leaves, chiffonaded
Salt And Pepper, to taste (don't oversalt!)
1 whole baguette
8 tablespoons Butter (I just used more olive oil)
In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, removing before the garlic gets too brown (it can be golden.) Pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Add tomatoes, balsamic, basil, and salt and pepper to the bowl. Toss to combine, then taste and add more basil if needed, and more salt if needed (don't oversalt, though!) Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two if you have the time. (Lauren's Note: I mixed it up and served it warm on the bread - my preference)
Cut the baguette into diagonal slices to allow for the most surface area possible. Melt half the butter in a large skillet and grill half the bread on both sides, making sure they're nice and buttery. Cook till golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the other half of the butter and the other half of the bread.
To serve, give the tomato mixture a final stir, the spoon generously over the slices of bread. Serve on a big platter as a first course or appetizer.