About time for a post about food, don’t you think?
Although I haven’t had very many opportunities to cook on the road, we’re coming up on the part of summer where there is so much fresh lovely produce, it hardly needs actual cooking. We found some local heirloom tomatoes last week in Maryland, although they are from the hothouse, they put me in mind of late summer bounty.
Bruschetta is one of those foods that doesn’t need much of a recipe, you can vary it infinitely to suit your taste and what’s available. It’s also easy to present in a variety of ways; either everything mixed together to spoon on toast, or all the ingredients laid out for everyone to layer on their own. If you are just learning to cook, it’s a wonderful way to experiment with mixing flavors and proportions.
Summer Tomato Bruschetta
I like the bulk of mine to be tomatoes, the fresher and more colorful the better. Any size will work, bigger ones cut into smaller pieces will make the bruschetta more juicy than baby tomatoes cut in half.
I also like a lot, a lot of basil, it’s one of my all-time favorite favors. When we rented in Madison I would get a few little basil plants at the farmers’ market in the spring and keep them going though the season. If I’m mixing everything together, I stack the leaves, roll them up, and slice the roll into strips to sprinkle in. If you are setting things out buffet-style, whole leaves are fine.
This is tasty with cheese, but don’t feel limited to mozzarella! Try any kind you like, or what’s locally available where you are. My favorite recent find was a goat cheese with the soft texture of brie. I like not too much cheese, not to overwhelm the tomatoes, but of course you can vary it. A soft cheese will blend more with the other ingredients, especially if you mix it all in a bowl.
A little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper will really bring the flavors together. You can set them out if you are doing make-your-own, and drizzle them on top.
A feast so simple to make, you can enjoy it in your hotel room.
Here’s to the coming joys of summer!