Bruschetta

BruschettaBruschetta is one of my favorite summertime foods! I don’t have a precise recipe for the topping, but here are some guidelines.

Ingredients
1 baguette
extra virgin olive oil
several cloves garlic
about 1 cup cherry tomatoes
10 leaves fresh basil (or to taste)
fresh mozzarella cheese, cut in small cubes (In Japan, I usually use shredded cheese.)
salt and pepper
Other possible add-ins: fresh oregano, finely minced red onion, balsamic vinegar

Instructions

Chop up the cherry tomatoes. Chop 1-2 cloves garlic very finely and add them to the tomatoes. Mix in the cubed (or shredded) cheese. Cut the basil (and/or oregano) leaves in very fine strips and mix in. Add finely minced red onion if desired. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Mix well and taste. Adjust seasonings, and let sit for as long as possible.

When ready to serve, cut some garlic cloves in half, and rub them all over the crust of the baguette. Cut the baguette in diagonal slices about 1/2″ to 1″ thick. Place the slices on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over the tops. Toast in the oven until golden brown.

Top each slice of bread with a spoonful of tomato topping.

Don’t forget that if the topping sits on the bread for long, it’ll get soggy! I like to serve the toast on the side, and the topping in a bowl and let everyone serve themselves.

Tomato-Avocado Grilled Cheese

I made these open-face grilled cheese type sandwiches using some leftovers from last night’s dinner, and they were so delicious! You could top these with all kinds of different things, and do it as a sandwich or open-face – very adaptable.

Ingredients
2 slices of bread or baguette
1 tbsp mayonnaise
a few drops lemon juice
a pinch of basil
2 thin slices of your favorite meltable cheese
1/2 tomato
1/2 avocado
salt and pepper
butter or margarine for cooking

Instructions

In a small bowl, mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, and basil. Spread on one side of each slice of bread. Place thin slices of cheese on top.

In a frying pan, melt a small pat of butter or margarine, and place the bread slices (mayo and cheese side up) in the pan. Cook until golden brown on the bread side.

Carefully remove from the pan and top with sliced avocado and tomato. Here’s where you can get creative and put whatever you like on it. I’ve added many different veggies, or sometimes marinated grilled or sauteed chicken. Sprinkle on salt and pepper to taste. Leave the sandwiches open-face or put them together to be more traditional.

Serves 1.