Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bruschetta and Warm Caprese Dip

Ah, the bounty of summer. Italian bruschetta (pronounced "brusketta") is a wonderful way to capture the flavors of ripe summer tomatoes, fresh garden basil, and garlic. I used plum tomatoes and chopped them by hand, rather than in a food processor. My family enjoyed this batch for lunch, along with some Caprese warm Dip with French Garlic Bread.

Ingredients for Bruschetta :

  • 6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Make sure there is a top rack in place in your oven. Turn on the oven to 450°F to preheat.

While the oven is heating, chop up the tomatoes finely. Put tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and mix. Add the chopped basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 Slice the baguette on a diagonal about 1/2 inch thick slices. Coat one side of each slice with olive oil using a pastry brush. Place on a cooking sheet, olive oil side down. You will want to toast them in the top rack in your oven, so you may need to do these in batches depending on the size of your oven. Once the oven has reached 450°F, place a tray of bread slices in the oven on the top rack. Toast for 5-6 minutes, until the bread just begins to turn golden brown.
Alternatively, you can toast the bread without coating it in olive oil first. Toast on a griddle for 1 minute on each side. Take a sharp knife and score each slice 3 times. Rub some garlic in the slices and drizzle half a teaspoon of olive oil on each slice. This is the more traditional method of making bruschetta.

 Align the bread on a serving platter, olive oil side up. Either place the tomato topping in a bowl separately with a spoon for people to serve themselves over the bread, or place some topping on each slice of bread and serve. If you top each slice with the tomatoes, do it right before serving or the bread may get soggy.
Serves 6-10 as an appetizer. Or 3-4 for lunch .

Caprese Dip :

1 package sun dried tamatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 (12 ounces) blocks cream cheese, softened
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
8 ounces provolone cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan cheese + more for garnish
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil leaves (use dried in off season)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped oregano leaves
crackers, bread or chips for serving

Method :
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Mix softened cream cheese with about 7 ounces each of provolone and mozzarella, then and parmesan.
Stir in fresh herbs, garlic and sun dried tomatoes, mixing well to combine.
Transfer mixture to an oven-safe baking dish .
Sprinkle with remaining provolone and mozzarella. Bake for 15 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly.
Serve immediately with crackers, chip or toasted bread.

Sending this to DSC_0993 newGuru's Cooking Giveaway Kids Special '13
simply.food: Announcing "Flavours of" Series 4~ Europe and Divya's culinary journey: Guest Hosting- Flavors of Italy for the month of February
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  1. Ohhh! I adore the fragrant of basil leaves. I have loads of it growing in my garden. The leaves now can be used for an Italian, uplifting as per your recipe. Ok, I am not a bread person but will make these for my other half who loves such flavored ones.

  2. Superb Linsy, I love bruschetta, but have never tried the caprese dip I am going to try your recipe. Very delicious...


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