We invite friends over for dinner fairly regularly. When company’s coming, I’m always so focused on getting the the main course and a dessert put together that appetizers are an afterthought. You’ve heard me say before that I’m usually scrambling at the last minute to find some cheese and olives and hoping against hope that there are some crackers in the pantry that aren’t stale. I’ve even been known to fly over to Trader Joe’s minutes before guest are arriving to pick up a pre-dinner snack.
Well, you don’t have to tell me that cheese and crackers don’t live up to what I’m capable of making. I finally decided that I must come up with a repertoire of easy snacks that I could prepare in a few minutes. This versatile starter quickly climbed to the top of my easy-to-put-together appetizer list and is appropriate to serve with almost any meal.
You may be thinking that tomato bruschetta is only a summer appetizer. Clearly, good tomatoes make a difference and I’ll always opt for heirloom tomatoes if I can find them. However, I’ve also used the basic Roma tomatoes that I get at my supermarket with great success. When you doctor them up with basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar, most tomatoes will work for this recipe any time of the year.
My dinner guest always enjoy these bruschetta and they never know that it only took me minutes to put them together.
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon coarsely chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing baguette slices
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 baguette, cut into 12 3/4 inch slices
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- 2. Combine tomatoes, basil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- 2. Brush baguette slices with olive oil and place on large baking sheet. Top each slice with mozzarella. Bake for 10 minutes to 15 minutes or until bread and cheese are slightly browning.
- 3. Remove from oven and top each slice with tomato mixture.
- 4. Serve immediately.