As part of doing this blog, I spend a little time each day reading other food blogs. I stumbled on a blog post about bruschetta, on a site called Daily Organized Chaos. That is all it took to prompt me to make a former favorite that I have probably not enjoyed for two years. My version is quite different than the one that sparked the idea, but that is the beauty of real food. An idea can turn into a custom-created meal in minutes.
I broil my bruschetta in the toaster oven, and usually make it on whole grain bread. (When I do buy a good french loaf, or baguette, it tends to disappear at an alarming rate, so I rarely buy it.) I start by toasting the bread, which preheats the oven for the broiling.
While the bread toasts, I mixed the ingredients for the sandwich in a small bowl. Bruschetta is like pizza, with no two versions the same, even with the same person.
My version this time has one half of a large tomato, diced, a small amount of diced onion, one large clove of garlic, finely chopped, about 1½ oz of mozzarella cheese, diced and a spash of olive oil. Normally, I would add plenty of fresh basil, but it was raining, and my basil is in the garden. Dried basil also works. At other times, I add a bit of green or red pepper, hot pepper flakes, leave out the onion, put the cheese on top instead of mixing it into the tomato mixture. When I have really, really good tomatoes, I have been known to do bruschetta with only tomato, cheese, basil and olive oil. Choice is the point here.
The ingredients are mixed in the bowl, then placed on the toasted bread. Put the filling on the toast while it is in the pan, as they are hard to move. Bruschetta should be heaped high with the tomato mixture, and if you press down lightly on the mixture as you place it on the bread, you can get a good amount to stay on the toast.
Place the pan in the oven, in a low broil position. You want the bruschetta to broil slowly so the filling has time to warm through before the cheese starts to melt.It should take between 5 and 10 minutes to cook.
Buschetta is often made on a full loaf of French bread, or a baguette cut in half horizontally. The cut edges are toasted or grilled, and the filling heaped on as for the sandwiches. For a full loaf version, I generally bake it at about 400F. One it is cooked, and cooled for a few minutes to let the cheese firm up a little, it is cut into serving pieces.