As those who know me well know well, I rarely cook the same thing twice. I am constantly exploring and experimenting. I credit my parents for allowing me to do my own thing in the kitchen at a very early age. (Somewhere there is a photo of a four-year-old me standing naked on a chair preparing scrambled eggs.)
But this weekend I was reminded that classic dishes became classics for a reason.
After a stroll through Prospect Park (air cast be damned), I swung through the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket where, despite the CSA bounty overflowing my refrigerator, I couldn’t resist picking up Italian eggplant, basil, and Bread Alone‘s insanely delicious whole wheat sourdough. On my stroll home, I devised a plan to toast the bread, slather it in ricotta cheese, and top it with basil, fresh peaches, black pepper, and perhaps a drizzle of honey. While I have no doubt that this dish would be delicious, the thick mold on top of my ricotta forced me to make other plans.
(Fairly) Classic Bruschetta
- 2 slices whole wheat sourdough or other good quality bread of your choosing
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 medium tomato, chopped and sprinkled with salt
- 10 basil leaves, thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar (optional)
- Bring half a tablespoon of olive oil up to medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add the garlic and cook stirring constantly until just tender but not yet browned. Remove garlic to cutting board, lower heat a bit, and add your bread slices.
- While your bread toasts, finely chop the cooked garlic and combine with the tomato, basil, and remaining olive oil in a small bowl. Taste and add a little salt, pepper, and/or red wine vinegar as desired. (My tomato was far more sweet than acidic, so the vinegar balanced it nicely.)
- Flip your bread and toast the other side while your tomatoes macerate a bit. Assemble and enjoy.
The simplicity of this classic dish is what makes it so perfect. Tragically, I ate my last tomato when I prepared this on Saturday. Here’s hoping tomorrow’s CSA share brings another batch!