Bruschetta with tomatoes and basil

After watching ‘Julie and Julia’ for the millionth time I really wanted to munch on the tomato bruschetta that features in one scene, but having found the recipe I decided that I needed to amend it a little as I’m not the biggest fan of cold tomatoes, esp when paired with something warm. So I did, and this is the result. Now, if you could arrange for Streep and Tucci to come and join me for some of these then I’d be eternally grateful (pretty please?). This amount serves 3, and The Teen has declared it to be her current absolute favourite meal, which is possibly the biggest compliment she can give.

Ingredients

1 baguette – cut into 3 pieces, halved lengthwise

500g cherry / baby plum tomatoes

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1tsp balsamic vinegar

2 cloves of garlic

A handful of basil leaves, ripped

60ml extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Heat up your oven to 200C fan.
  2. While that’s happening slice all the tomatoes in half and pop them in a bowl with a good pinch of salt, the tablespoon of olive oil, and the balsamic vinegar. Mix well.
  3. Lift the toms out (leave the dressing behind) and spread them cut side up onto two baking trays lined with greaseproof paper, and roast them for 20 mins until they begin to soften.
  4. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a smidge then pop them back into the leftover dressing and leave to cool some more while you get on with the bread – no-one wants to eat a tomato straight from the oven because they’ll be hotter than the surface of the sun!
  5. Brush the baguette pieces on both sides with the 60ml olive oil, then prepare to get a bit messy by cutting the cloves of garlic in half and rubbing the cut sides all over the oily bread. I find that I have to use different pieces every now and then as they seem to lose their garlicky power.
  6. When all of the bread is oiled and garlicked (yes that’s a verb), mince a bit of the leftover garlic into the tomatoes and mix well along with the ripped up basil leaves.
  7. Heat a dry frying pan then fling in the bread pieces in batches to crisp up and brown a little.
  8. Load up the warm garlic bread with the tomatoes, grate over a little black pepper, and dive in.

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