Fresh From the Garden...Finally

Tomato & Basil Bruschetta with Crumbled Mozzarella
We've been working on our first garden and now that spring is in full swing we can finally start to reap the rewards of growing our own food - basil (tomatoes too, although they are not quite ready yet). Basil makes a wonderful addition to so many quick and simple recipes; it's easy to incorporate into almost everything you eat in late spring and summer. Here is one of my favorite simple recipes, good tomatoes and fresh basil are key to making this appetizer a success.

Fresh basil plant in our garden
Tomato & Basil Bruschetta
Serves 8 - 10
6 vine ripened tomatoes, diced into cubes (make sure they are nice and firm and very red)
8-10 fresh basil leaves cut into fine strips (discard the stems of the leaves and just use the leaf)
2-4 fresh peeled garlic cloves finely chopped (adjust amount according to how much garlic you like)
1 Tbs. of good extra virgin olive oil
A few pinches of salt, or salt to taste (garlic salt or fine sea salt works great)
1 Sweet Baguette, sliced and brushed with olive oil (about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil)

Basil leaves freshly cut
Prepare ingredients as noted above and combine tomatoes, basil, garlic, 1 Tbs. olive oil and salt in a bowl. Add additional salt or other ingredients to your taste. Cover and refrigerate the mixture to let the flavors combine. Slice the baguette into thin slices and put the bread slices onto an un-greased cookie sheet.  Brush one side of the bread lightly with olive oil. Toast the bread in the oven, olive oil side up under the broiler for 5-10 minutes, until bread is toasted and slightly brown. Remove from oven and top with a spoon full of the tomato bruschetta mixture. Arrange bread pieces on a platter and serve immediately. I have a large family so I often forego toasting the bread and preparing the individual slices.  It's a bit lazy but I simply slice the bread and serve the bruschetta in a bowl with a spoon, so people can prepare their own individual slices. The fresh bread soaks up the flavors of the wonderful simple and fresh ingredients. Serve it however you prefer. Enjoy.

  • Use the freshest ingredients possible, get basil, tomatoes and garlic from your garden, local providers/markets, local farmers markets, etc., organic preferred.
  • Cooking is an art form, so remember to think outside of the box. There are so many variations you can add onto this, for example sometimes I use small grape tomatoes, I find them much more flavorful then a standard beefsteak tomato. Other ideas...drizzle with balsamic reduction, sprinkle with fresh chunks of mozzarella cheese, remove the garlic...the options are endless.  Enjoy.


Simple Decor

Simple flower arrangement made from flowers in my yard.  Perfect decor for a summer BBQ.


Fava Beans on the Way

My fava beans are finally starting to grow. Only a few more weeks, I can't wait.  

Fava plants in my garden
Beautiful flowers from the fava plant
The fava bean pod starting to grow