I’m so over summer, but like honey badger, summer don’t care. It’s going to be here for the next million years, or at least that’s what it feels like. It’s a long string of days in which it’s just too hot to do a lot of cooking.
On those kinds of days, I often make bruschetta. It’s virtually no-cook (except for making toast) and is an extremely good way to enjoy the best summer tomatoes. There’s no set recipe: use as much of each ingredient as you like or you have on hand. This approaches Nirvana if made with heirloom tomatoes.
- Real summer tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Olive oil
Core and chop tomatoes. Mince garlic. Chop or sliver basil. Combine in a bowl. Pour in some olive oil and add salt & pepper to taste.
Toast the best bread you can lay your hands on (i.e. not squishy supermarket bread like Rainbo). If you feel ambitious, cut a garlic clove in half and rub the cut side onto the toast until the garlic disappears. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the toast. Eat.
- Minced hot peppers, cayenne, or hot sauce.
- Freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Fresh oregano along with, or in place of, the basil.
- Minced sweet onion.
- Chopped roasted red bell pepper.
- Chopped good-quality olives (like Kalamata).
Other things to try:
- Top bruschetta with cheese, then run under the broiler.
- Spread tapenade on toast, then top with tomato mixture.
- Spread pesto on toast, then top with tomato mixture.
- Skip the toast. Mix this into hot cooked pasta.
- Pour over green salad and toss.
- Puree leftovers and serve as cold soup.
- Use to top baked or grilled fish.
- Use to top grilled eggplant.
- Puree and strain. Pour over ice along with a healthy shot of vodka.