I don’t know when my love for tomatoes started. I know we go through them a lot when I cook. It’s a staple in our kitchen, together with onions and garlic.
When my husband and I were newly weds and renting an apartment, we would plant them in yogurt containers placed just outside our window. Now, that we have our own house with a nice backyard, we have started planting them in our garden. There’s something about eating your own fruits and vegetables fresh from your backyard.
In the past we have planted some beefsteak and cherry tomatoes. Oh I love popping cherry tomatoes in my mouth like candies! Its savory and earthy flavours literally just burst in my mouth like fireworks in Las Vegas during New Year’s eve.
I love how diverse its taste can be depending on the types of tomatoes you got. Some are sweet. Others are sour. But there are some exceptions that are neither sweet nor sour… where the flavour is just too complex to describe. It can be meaty, salty or even spicy all on its own.
Our toddler can easily eat 2-3 Roma tomatoes in one sitting. I think she got that from me! It’s actually dangerous to ask her to help me cook in the kitchen if one of the ingredients are tomatoes because they quickly disappear! But I still often risk it. I love having her as my sous-chef. It’s good to teach them early.
Today, I’d like to share how I make my Bruschetta.
Here we go!
- 1 Baguette French bread, sliced diagonally
- Extra Virgin Olive (EVO) oil
- 5 Ripe plum tomatoes, diced
- Balsamic vinegar
- Minced garlic
- Dried (or fresh) thyme
- Dried (or fresh) basil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Cut your ripe plum tomatoes into cubes. (You can try removing all the seeds if you prefer it seedless. Sometimes I do. Other times I don’t because I just can’t be bothered. Some of it comes off on its own as I cut them anyway. Besides I am toasting the baguette, so some seeds in the mixture won’t make the bread mushy. But it does make it look neat and prettier without the seeds).
2. In a mixing bowl, add the tomatoes. Pour EVO oil and balsamic vinegar until you reached your desired taste. Add approx. about a tablespoon or 2 of minced garlic. Add thyme and a generous amount of basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in room temperature for 30 mins (or longer if you end up forgetting it, ooops!). This helps the flavour to infuse together so don’t hurry the process. (Dance a little bit, run some errands, or play with your toddler and then come back into the kitchen to do the rest).
3. Preheat the oven to 375 F. While waiting for the oven to be ready, slice your baguette in an angle (diagonally) about 1/2-3/4 of an inch thick. (You can cut it straight too but that won’t hold much topping). Place the bread slices on a baking sheet and brush the top of the baguette with EVO oil. Pop into the oven and toast it for about 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
4. Transfer the baguette slices into a serving dish. Spoon the tomato mixture on top of the toasted baguette. (If you have a toddler like me who is crazy about tomatoes, you might want to guard your tomato mixture or you’ll just end up with some toasted baguette!). Serve warm. Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese if you like!
I like the presentation on the second batch that I have made. Fresh herbs just made this hors d’oeuvre pop! I also like my baguette slices a little bit toasted (you’d notice the edges on the 2nd photo is a little bit brown than the 1st), but our toddler finds it too hard to chew. So when I make it this way, she just eats the topping and the middle part of the baguette that has soaked in the moisture from the tomatoes. When she’s done eating, her scraps looked like a baguette doughnut. Hahaha!
Disclaimer: I don’t normally use measuring spoons/cups when I cook. Unless I’m baking of course. Cooking is more of an art. So when I cook, I usually just eyeball things. The key is to taste your food while you cook, and adjust your spices as your taste buds dictate. What maybe sweet for me, may not be the case for you. Hence, the lack of measurements on my recipes. I will leave that up to you. All the necessary ingredients (and tips!) however will be provided.