Monday, July 8, 2013

Bruschetta with Roma Tomatoes and Buffalo Mozzarella


Bruschetta with Fresh Mozzarella

This dish is so simple and reminds me so much of our honeymoon in Italy.  Everything is so fresh and flavorful there.  The only downside about going in the summer or anytime it's hot is the lack of A/C you will find.  I did not find that bit of information in any of the Rick Steves travel guides.  Plus the lack of ice cold water and the fact that you have to pay for water at restaurants.  It wasn't that big of a problem because you could get an ice cold beer or a glass of wine for less than a glass of water.  Another neat fact about Rome:  All of the over 2,500 public fountains run cool filtered water.  I kept a water bottle in my bag and anytime I saw a fountain, I'd just fill up right there.
 Anyways, back to the dish...

If you are a fan of Caprese Salad then you can skip the carbs and just prepare it without the baguette and serve it cold.

This is a great baseline for any type of toppings you might want to add like shrimp or bay scallops.  Get creative!  I think one day I might try it with some cremini mushrooms.  


Makes 16 hor devours (using a 12 inch baguette)

Ingredients:

1 package of fresh mozzarella 
1 baguette (I use whatever is freshest at the store - french bread, ciabiatta, focaccia, etc)
Fresh basil leaves from about 3 stalks (I love basil, so i use a lot of it!)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
3 tomatoes, any kind (if you use grape tomatoes or cherry make sure you slice them half wise)
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Slice the baguette into 1/2 inch sections (some grocery stores even have a bread slicer you can use)  Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle a bit of olive oil on each slice, and toast for about 5-7 minutes in the oven at 350 degrees.  Meanwhile, slice the mozzarella cheese and tomatos into about 1/4 inch pieces.  Coarsely chop the basil leaves.  
  2. Remove the toasted bread, and layer the mozzarella cheese, and tomato on top of each piece of bread.  Top with each with some basil leaves.  Drizzle with some balsamic vinegar and add a pinch of salt and pepper.  
  3. Return to the oven and bake for another 5 minutes or until the cheese is slightly melted/warm.  Enjoy!!!

*Note*  Sometimes I chop the tomatoes and basil to combine in small bowl with about 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.  Then I refrigerate it and add it to the toasted bread and slightly melted cheese.  

Don't skip out on the mozzarella cheese!  It makes a world of difference.  Some recipes tell you to stack bread, tomato, cheese, then basil.  I like my cheese on top of the bread first so that the flavor from the balsamic vinegar soaks only into the tomatos.  




This is my version of Bruschetta with a variety of cherry type tomatoes and bay scallops.  I believe the flavor comes from the combination of the basil and balsamic vinegar.  For this recipe, I mixed the tomatoes with the vinegar and basil together then topped off the toasted bread and mozzarella with the mixture.  

I cannot wait to try it with heirloom tomatoes!  

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