Being in an Italian/Irish family meant a lot of hearty home-cooked meals growing up, many of which have stuck with me. I credit most of my culinary prowess to those in my family who were rarely seen without a least a dash of flour on their apron or smelling of fragrant herbs. Some of my most cherish memories involving food are helping my Grandma pick fresh fruits and vegetables from her garden, namely tomatoes. While other kids were chomping down on chips and candy, my Grandma made sure that whatever sweets I was allowed to eat were going to be preceded by at least a bowl full of her garden treats.
Truly, what isn't there to like about tomatoes? They're the gemstones of the fruit world that come in a variety of colors and you can include them in an array of different cuisines. Particularly, I'm a fan of simple recipes that enhance the tomato's already sweet flavor by adding a bit of savory contrast - like that of garlic.
I tend to use garlic at least 3-4 times a week just for its versatility. I've gotten away with garlic in the most strangest of ways (think garlic and crystallized ginger chocolate cake) and thus it will forever hold a place in my culinary spectrum.
I was fortunate to come across a fantastic recipe for Rustic Rosemary Garlic Bread while on the hunt for a herb garlic loaf about a year back, and I can't stop making it with my personal touches added here and there. It's simply perfect for my Heirloom & Roma Tomato Bruschetta!
Granted, my loafs never come out looking as pretty, but they certainly have character (much like Shrek). However, the aroma is to die for and makes my apartment smell like a tiny restaurant in Tuscany. I highly recommend trying out the recipe for yourself!
The beauty about bruschetta is how easy it is to make something taste so amazing. I personally love pairing it with a side of buffalo mozzarella or something similar. This literally takes maybe 10 minutes of prep and then it's good to go (which is great because Edward really gets grumpy when he's hungry).
Heirloom & Roma Tomato Bruschetta
(serves 2-3 as an appetizer)
Dice heirloom and roma tomatoes into small pieces and chop the garlic finely to your preference (sometimes a big chunk is a nice surprise!). Gather all the basil leaves and stack them on top of one another, then roll together tightly before cutting the leaves into diagonal strips. Combine diced tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, basil, and garlic in a bowl. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to the bowl and mix ingredients well.
Serve on thinly cut pieces of grilled rosemary garlic loaf.
Pro-tip: The bowl will likely have a lot of juices at the bottom. Dip your bread in there before adding the bruschetta on top for extra deliciousness!