Bruschetta with toasty little crostini’s is one of those wonderful antipasti dishes that we have all had so many places. I have found the secret to amazing bruschetta and the most intense and amazing flavor is to bake the freshest ingredients I can find. Baked cherry tomatoes together with olives, garlic and shallots make a complex and wonderful starter for a nice lunch or formal dinner. On the positive side, baking is also very easy, just mix it well and throw it in a ramekin or small pan and wait.
Found and not lost
This recipe found me through a wonderful friend, she came over one day for lunch and whipped this up. To say that her skill with food is utterly amazing is an understatement. What I remember in particular is the amazing smell this dish made while baking, we were out in the back yard talking, but constantly drawn to the kitchen to “check on it”, as a ruse to breathe in the intense flavors.
With just 6 ingredients, and some toasted bread you can make a nirvana on a plate, and most of the effort is waiting. Enjoy!
I use green and black olives evenly here, but you can choose either if you prefer.
- 1 pint 551 ML Ripe red cherry tomatoes halved
- 1 Shallot diced
- 6 Black and 6 Green Olives halved
- 2 Cloves of garlic minced
- 3 basil leaves rolled and cut in a chiffonade (ribbons)
- 1 baguette or thin Italian loaf
Preheat the oven to 375 f (190 c)
Mise en Plas
Half the tomatoes, and olives put in a bowl
Add the minced the shallot and garlic
Ribbon the basil and add to the bowl
Combine and Bake
Drizzle with some olive oil and a pinch of salt, and combine with a few stirs
Pour the entire mixture into a ramekin or small oven-safe pan, you want it kind of deep not spread out.
Bake for 45 min stirring every 15 minutes
The colors will deepen, and liquid will release
Bias (angle) cut the bread in thin to medium thick slices depending on your desire
Toast the slices in a toaster, oven, pan or panini press. I will drizzle mine with a touch of olive oil on the down-side and put in the press on sear, take a few moments and its stunning and crisp.
When you remove from the oven and are ready to serve, adjust seasoning if necessary
Then make small heaps of the bruschetta on the crostini, and drizzle with a spoon of the juices. It can be served from hot to room temperature.
My wife Sherry likes her crostini with the lightest coating of garlic salt, which is a nice layer on the toasts, I prefer it plain. Both are tasty.
A guilty note on a panini press
My wonderful wife purchased a panini press for me years ago, I remember I reacted poorly to the gift. Maybe even I said, “What did it cost, I’m not sure I’m going to use it”. On the contrary, I use it all the time. Mine is the Cuisinart Panini Press it is the most fantastic little thing, for toasting, cooking griddling, its heaven sent. Consequently, I did apologize, but it was too late. Not to emphasize this point too strongly, never look a gift horse in the mouth. I think of my comment every time I use this wonderful device and have thanked Sherry nearly every time I use it. Ultimately it turns out you can’t dig your way out of a hole.
This dish is versatile, it will be grand to serve it with your main course wine, no matter the choice for that meal.