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Fresh Tomato Toasts (Bruschetta di Pomodori)

Fresh Tomato Toasts (Bruschetta di Pomodori)
Bruschetta can be made with different toppings, the simplest being a rub of garlic and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil. This version, which demands summertime's finest vine-ripened tomatoes, is one of the best. A bit of balsamic vinegar brings out the sweetness of the tomatoes. You can also add some chopped garlic, if you like. A thin slice of ricotta salata laid on top of the tomatoes is a nice addition and can turn this antipasto into a light lunch.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • Coarse salt, to taste
  • 8 slices coarse country bread, each about 1/2 inch
     thick
  • 2 large garlic cloves

Directions:

Preheat a broiler or prepare a fire in a charcoal grill.

In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, olive oil, vinegar and salt and toss well.

Place the bread on a baking sheet or grill rack and broil or grill, turning once, until lightly toasted on both sides, about 2 minutes total. Remove from the broiler or grill and immediately rub one side of each slice with the garlic cloves.

Arrange the grilled bread, garlic side up, on a serving platter and spoon on the tomatoes, dividing evenly. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

Adapted from Savoring Italy, by Michele Scicolone (Time-Life Books, 1999).