Sunday, June 5, 2011

Simple Bruschetta and Thoughts on Garlic

As an Italian American, I have a special and profound relationship with garlic. I didn’t realize until recently how much other people worry about garlic breath--apparently, it’s a big deal. Italians, however, hold no such reservations when planning meals, which is how I came to put together the below recipe for bruschetta.

It’s an easy, no-heat-applied concoction, a big hit at parties and paired well with red wine (to which I am, tragically, allergic, but that shouldn't stop you!). . . and you won’t have to worry about leftovers, because your guests will fight each other to the death for the last bite.

You will need:

- 4 medium tomatoes - big bunch basil leaves (about 1/2 cup)

- 6-10 cloves garlic - handful sundried tomatoes

- extra virgin olive oil - crusty bread of your choice

1. Line the bottom of a small tupperware with peeled, chopped garlic.

2. Pour in just enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the layer of garlic. EXTRA VIRGIN. Do. Not. Skimp. The other stuff won't do. Ever.

3. Let it marinate, covered, at room temperature for at least two hours. You can leave it in the fridge for up to a week following that--- the longer the better! It softens the garlic, adds to the oil’s flavor, and takes away the hot.

4. Empty the tomatoes of seeds and juice. Dice them and throw them in a bowl with the marinated garlic and olive oil.

5. Chop basil leaves finely and add to mixture.

6. Add a handful of chopped sundried tomatoes for color and concentrated bits of goodness.

7. Salt to taste and mix thoroughly.

8. Spoon onto fresh bread-- Italian, of course!--

9. Enjoy.

Tasty Option! Top with thinly sliced Mozzarella. Recently discovered that Jalapeno Havarti is also delish.

This serves: 2 hungry people, 4 moderately hungry people, or leaves 6 people to draw straws.

Marinating the garlic and olive oil will take out the bite, but if you’re still worried about breath, you oughtta share.

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