Monday, September 27, 2010

To die for Bruschetta

1 small baguette
1 clove garlic (or 1 tsp crushed garlic)
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 lb soft Mozzarella cheese
1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
1 Tbs fresh chopped basil
1 Tbs Balsamic vinegar (reduction if you like - me likey)
<--- not my photo.  My photo has  thicker cheese and clearly seen vinegar.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice baguette about 1/4 inch thick and arrange on a pizza pan or cookie sheet. In small bowl or custard dish, mix the olive oil and garlic. Spread evenly on each slice of bread. Bake at 400 until slightly browned, about 10 minutes.

While bread is baking, slice your mozzarella cheese about 1/4 inch thick. I use Precious soft mozzarella. Slice your grape tomatoes in half. Set aside. Chop your basil and set that aside.

Remove bread from oven and place a slice of cheese, a sprinkle of grape tomatoes and a toss of chopped basil on top.

Sprinkle lightly with balsamic vinegar (or reduction) and serve while bread is warm.

Balsamic Reduction:

Place two cups balsamic vinegar in a small frying pan or wok if you have one (you could use a small sauce pan too but shallow pans work better for me). Heat on high to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and stir until dissolved. Reduce heat to a simmer and stir until about 3/4 of the vinegar is gone. The reduction is complete when it reaches the consistency of a syrup. Drizzle reduction across tops of bread.

NOTE: reduction is much stronger in flavor than simple balsamic vinegar. It can be overpowering so use sparingly unless you really have a taste for it.

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