I braved a social-distancing themed shopping experience at a larger grocery store this week. As I shopped, I sanitized my cart handles, wore a vibrant hand-made mask, and followed the arrows directing the flow of traffic through the store. And yes, I saw some customers turned away for failing to wear a mask in the store, but generally speaking it was a well-organized experience.

A little weary of shelf stable fare like pasta, rice and other grains, my family had requested a dinner of fresh fish, asparagus and green salad. As I collected the items, I remembered I had the remains of some homemade French bread and turned to the heirloom tomatoes. I thought a little bit of colorful bruschetta might perk up our dinner in a memorable way and make use of my day-old bread.

I know tomato season is a way off, but I couldn’t resist grabbing a couple of the ripest looking fruits. I am so glad I did—this bright appetizer bite added a bold and savory element to an otherwise simple quarantine meal.

Enjoy!

Easy Breezy Bruschetta

  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, finely minced
  • 3 garlic cloves. minced
  • A good handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 Cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying bread
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • 8-10 slices French bread or baguette—about 1-inch thick (store bought or homemade)
  • 1 cut garlic clove

Gently mix the tomatoes, garlic, chopped basil, Parmesan, and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.

Heat about a quarter cup of olive in a skillet over medium-high heat until hot, but not smoking. Place the sliced baguette into the pan. The bread should fry gently in the oil creating a golden-brown crust. Flip and allow to fry on the second side. Bread should be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.

Remove the bread to a plate and season with kosher salt. Rub the bread with the cut side of the garlic clove and top with the tomato mixture. Serve.

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