A Basic Bruschetta
I adore bread. Although I’ve adapted some recipes on this blog to be lower carb, I try not to think about the c-word while I’m eating (no, not that c-word). I am a firm believer that bread is the most important meal of the day, and it should be eaten whenever possible.
So it should come as some surprise that, until this recipe, I had never once made bread on my own. As much as I loved it, the idea of making it myself was terrifying. After all, what if the dough didn’t rise? What if it was bland? What if it was raw in the middle? It just seemed easier to buy the $1 loaf from Wal-Mart and call it a day. That was much safer.
But I have decided to stop playing it safe in the kitchen, and bread seemed like a natural place to start. I adore French bread specifically, so I decided to begin there. Luckily, traditional French bread turns out to be stupidly simple to make. In fact, I felt dumb for never having tried it before. Even Past Abby, the version of myself who was hopeless at cooking, probably could have nailed it on the first try.
Here is the recipe I used, and probably will continue to use for a long time.
So, this morning I conveniently had two fresh loaves of French bread lying around. Okay, I had one loaf after my roommates and I ate the first one approximately ten minutes after it came out of the oven. Either way, it seemed appropriate to do something special with my creation. In this respect, I did decide to play it safe; bruschetta.
I’ve been making bruschetta since long before I learned to cook, and my method for it has changed very, very little over that time. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. I like it simple, so that the flavor of the bread is not drowned out by the toppings, but are complemented by them instead.
What I love about bruschetta is that it’s not limited to a season. It’s the perfect thing for a New Year’s Eve party, or as an appetizer to Christmas dinner, or as a side for a summer barbeque. Cooking seasonally can be hard, especially when you live in the Arctic like I do, so finding something to skirt the issue helps a lot.
Covers 8 Slices
1 Loaf French Bread
3 Medium Tomatoes (I used slicing tomatoes)
1/2 Small White Onion, Diced (1/4 of large white onion also works)
1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan
Heavy Dash of Balsamic Vinegar
Dash of Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Slice the bread into 8 pieces, place on an ungreased baking sheet, and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Throw your finely chopped tomatoes and onions into a bowl and mix. Add parmesan, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, parsley, salt, and pepper, mix well. Taste test here and adjust as needed.
Add a line of olive oil down your bread slices, then top heavily with mixture. Serve immediately.
I serve this recipe a lot toward the end of the holidays, when I’m a little burnt out on the time-consuming recipes and I just want something fast and tasty. It has a light flavor that won’t put anyone into a food coma before the main course, which I like. I’ll be honest, I usually eat any leftovers for breakfast because it’s so good that it defies the universal laws of what constitutes a breakfast food.
Do you have any simple, go-to recipes for appetizers? If so, leave them in the comments below along with a link to your blog. I’m curious to see what everyone else is making around this time of year.
Until next time, let’s ring in the new year and say goodbye to 2016 with good food, good friends, and high hopes.