Bruschetta (brew-sket-tah) has become a popular appetizer with many variations. The following recipe is the traditional method and from my Italian family. For some added flair, use a mix of yellow and red tomatoes, and for some extra heat double the amount of red pepper flakes. For a really good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil, mail order Olio Carli. This is the only EVOO the Ruocco family from Liguria has ordered and used for many years. It has a very smooth, clean, and easily blendable finish with very low acidity. Worth the price.
Time Oil Infusion: at least 1 hour preferably 2 hours or more; Prep time – 15 minutes; Cook time – 8 to 10 minutes
French baguette, narrow or slender loaf with crunchy golden crust (best in Brentwood find at Costco), or Italian Pugliese bread
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
2 TBS fresh parsley, chopped small
4 – 5 Roma tomatoes or other type, seeded and diced
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped small
TIME OIL INFUSION – 1 to 2 hours before or longer, mix together in a medium size bowl, oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and parsley. Allow to sit for 1 hr or preferably longer to infuse the flavors into the oil.
Remove seeds and core tomatoes. Dice into small 1/4″ pieces. Place in a small bowl.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice the bread on a sharp diagonal into 1/2″ thin slices. Place the slices on a large cookie sheet. Lightly brush infused oil (just the oil) on 1 side of each bread slice. Place in preheated oven for 7 to 8 minutes or longer, depending on how dense the bread is. Bread should come out lightly golden toasted.
Gently fold into the cut tomatoes a good tablespoon or 2 of the infused oil mixture, with the flavorful stuff on the bottom. Top each toast slice with cut tomatoes, about a tablespoon or more. Place a pinch or two of chopped basil on top. If needed, add a pinch of kosher salt and a few grinds of pepper.