Garlic, Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Bruschetta

An Italian classic of toasted bread topped with a savory topping, this bruschetta combines the epitome summer flavors and makes a perfect light lunch or dinner. It can also be used as a hearty appetizer that guests can assemble themselves and enjoyed with a glass of wine.

In true Tuscan style, this is more of a guide than a recipe. Scale the ingredient portions according to appetite or number of guests. What matters most is to use the freshest basil (just plucked from the garden if possible), vine-ripened summer tomatoes, and to toast the slices of crusty artisan bread over an open fire on the grill.

As a rule of thumb, plan on a couple of slices of mozzarella, a few slices of tomato, and a sprig or two of basil for each piece of toast. Assemble all the ingredients, place on the table and allow each person to prepare their own portion.

For the platter:
Depending on the number of servings, arrange on a platter:

Fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
Ripe tomatoes, sliced thinly
Sprigs of fresh, fragrant sweet Italian basil
Extra virgin olive oil
Large crystal sea salt (like Maldon) and freshly ground pepper

Lightly drizzle mozzarella and tomatoes with extra virgin olive oil. Add a sprinkling of salt and ground pepper over tomatoes and cheese. Set aside.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil with Garlic:
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh garlic, pressed and minced finely
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Combine ingredients in a small microwave bowl. Use about 1 teaspoon of minced garlic per 1/4 cup of olive oil. Add salt and pepper. Warm olive oil and garlic in microwave until hot and fragrant. (This may be as little as 30 seconds, depending on amount.) Cool slightly and place mixture in small serving bowl with a spoon. Set aside.

Grilled Toasted Bread:
Hearty and flavorful artisan bread, such as Gayle’s Pain de Campagne, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil

Brush bread slices with olive oil on both sides. Toast the bread on both sides on a grill over hot coals or open fire until golden and crispy. Toasting over fire adds a spectacular depth of flavor. (Toast the bread slices in an oven as a last resort.)

To Assemble:
Spoon a teaspoon of the olive oil-garlic mixture on piece of toast. Top with mozzarella, tomatoes and a sprig or two of fresh basil. Bellisimo!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email