Cherry Tomato, Basil and Fresh Mozzarella Bruschetta

Sometimes I really don’t want to cook. I either have things to do or I’m just too drained. Even though I may not have the time to cook, I also might not want to order out because let’s face it, delivery food isn’t too good. Lots of factors come into play, for example the container the food travels in, the time it takes for delivery and the people handling it usually makes for a sub-par eating experience. So when I find myself in this state of mind, I always try to think about the easiest possible thing to make. Bruschetta usually comes to mind fast. Basically toasted bread with something on top.  The easiest, tastiest one that I know to make is a tomato, basil, mozzarella bruschetta with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and some grated garlic. Takes literally 5 minutes to make. And if you are a true food freak, you’d know that something so simple is only truly amazing when, and only when, you use great ingredients. When you buy a tomato, pick it up, touch it, smell it. It should have a little give to it but not be too hard or too mushy. It should smell like a tomato. It should also be red. That may seem obvious but have you been in a supermarket recently? Ever see a tomato that has a green hue to it? That’s because industrial tomatoes are picked when they are green and then are treated with an “artificial ripening agent” that makes them red and appear ripe. They are not. It’s nutritional value isn’t even close compared to that of a ripe tomato. And in terms of flavor? Completely tasteless. That’s why I rarely eat tomatoes in the winter, its very hard to find a decent tomato in the northeast during the colder months. All ranting aside, a good tomato is key. If you can get your hands on some, this is a great, inexpensive, quick to produce meal that you can always have in your arsenal.

Ingredients:

A ball of fresh mozzarella

Half a pint of fresh cherry tomatoes

Fresh basil

1 Garlic clove

Some good Italian bread

Olive Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Salt & Pepper

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Take a cherry tomato and slice it in half. Then lay each half flat on the cutting board and cut each half into four equal pieces. Add the cut tomatoes to a bowl.

Cut a few slices of the mozzarella into thick slices. Then stack those slices on top of each other and slice the pieces into large matchsticks. Then, making perpendicular cuts, dice up the mozzarella and add it to the tomatoes. Try to make the tomatoes and the mozzarella the same size.

Using a microplane, grate a clove of garlic into the bowl.

Add freshly torn basil to the bowl.

Add salt and pepper to the mix.

Finally add about 1-2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and about a tablespoon of olive oil and mix to combine the ingredients.

Set the mixture aside, let everyone get to know each other for a bit while you toast the bread.

In a pan, drizzle a bit of olive oil over medium heat and wait till the pan gets hot.

Add a slice of the Italian bread and cook until its lightly toasted on one side.

Then flip it and do the same to the other side. You may have to add some more olive oil, the bread will soak it up.

Traditional bruschetta calls for taking a raw clove of garlic, cut in half and with the cut side, rub all over the crusty bread. Please feel free to do it this way rather than incorporating it to the mixture. I did it this way because I’ve grown used to it. It is probably better to rub it with garlic. Whatever you want to do. You are running the show…

All that’s left to do is top the toasted bread with with tomato, mozzarella mixture and dig it. It’s one of my favorite snacks!

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