Bruschetta is one of my favorite foods of all time. When my husband and I went to Italy, I made sure to get bruschetta at every single restaurant we went to, so that I would really get a feel for how it is supposed to be made. I also got scolded by a waitress when I pronounced it ‘Brooshetta’, so make sure you are saying it with that hard ‘C’! It still feels a little clunky to me but I guess that’s the proper pronunciation. It comes together really quickly, and you can do all the chopping the night before to save time as well. I made these for a BBQ, so I toasted the bread right on the grill, which turned out great, but you can also just use your oven.
Fresh Bruschetta with Balsamic Reduction
makes 12 servings
12 slices of fresh french bread (or any crusty rustic bread)
20 ounces of grape tomatoes
8 cloves of garlic
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup first cold pressed olive oil, divided in half
2 tbs plus 1 cup balsamic vinegar
salt to taste
Chop the tomatoes and put them in a medium mixing bowl. (it’s more work to chop these small tomatoes as opposed to Roma or Beefsteak, but I find that smaller tomatoes have much more flavor.) Peel and mince the shallot and garlic very finely, add to the tomatoes. Chop the basil into a thin chiffonade and add to the other ingredients. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil, the 2 tbs of balsamic, and a sprinkle of salt. Toss to combine and set aside.
In a small sauce pan, bring the 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil over medium heat, then bring the heat down to low and allow it to simmer until it reduces by half. The longer you let it go, the thicker it will get, I like it to be thick and syrupy. Allow it to cool.
Meanwhile brush both sides of each piece of bread with the remaining olive oil and toast it/grill it until it’s nice and golden.
To serve, scoop a little mound of the tomato mixture onto each toast and lightly drizzle it with the balsamic reduction. The balsamic becomes VERY sweet and intense when reduced, so drizzle lightly, more lightly than what is pictured!