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Bruschetta Margherita

In January we start planning the garden, and select our tomato varieties to grow. In March we start them inside, in little pots. By late April and through early May we haul those pots in and out according to weather, and water them daily, and watch them anxiously for aphids or other problems. We heave a sigh of relief when they can be planted outside, but they must still be covered if we’ve pushed the timing and we probably have, watered, and weeded, and tied to supports. And then finally in August it all comes to fruition – literally – and the wait is worth every moment.

These were so good I practically leaned back, drummed my heels, and let out a shriek.

And yes, the 2 of us ate it all. This recipe is about the equivalent of 2 sturdy cheese and tomato sandwiches, so not too unreasonable. If you wanted to share them and serve them as a starter, it might stretch to 6 servings. I’m not sure I would count on it, though. SO GOOD.

I’ve seen this described as Bruschetta Margherita, Bruschetta Caprese, or Bruschetta Pizzaiola.  Whatever you want to call it, it’s just lovely.

2 to 6 servings (12 slices)
30 minutes prep time

Bruschetta Margherita; Bruschetta Caprese

350 grams (12 ounces) firm, ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 small (275 grams) day-old ciabatta or baguette
2 tablespoon olive oil
100 grams (4 ounces) mozzerella di bufala OR fior di latte

Put the broiler on to heat. 

Wash the tomatoes and cut out the cores. Slice them in half from top to bottom then into wedges. Toss them with 1 tablespoon of very good olive oil then season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle them with the minced garlic. Broil the tomatoes for 8 to 12 minutes, until very soft and juicy.

Meanwhile, slice the baguette into 12 angled slices about 3/4″ of an inch thick. Drizzle both sides with some more of the olive oil, and arrange them on a baking tray to go under the broiler. When the tomatoes are done, swap them out and toast the bread lightly on both sides.

While the bread toasts, slice the cheese into 12 fairly even portions, and wash and dry the basil.

When the bread is toasted, arrange it so the less toasted sides are up. (You know there always is one!) Spoon slices of broiled tomato and their juices evenly over the pieces of toast. Intersperse them with the cheese, broken up a little to fit and to be spread out over the slices, and with the leaves of basil, 2 or 3 per toast.

Return the toasts to under the broiler, and broil for another few minutes until the cheese is melted. Serve at once.

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