Hello fellow readers and food lovers 🙂 Yes, I know, it’s been a while. Still cooking, don’t worry 🙂 And always collecting recipes and photos to show, that’s for sure… But unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to stop and talk to you and I apologize for that… Between holidays (been to Portugal to see the family) and a very busy time at work (typical Summer period in a hotel job), the days fly by and suddenly is October and it’s been weeks (months!!) since we last spoke!!!
But now I’m back and let me start again with a recipe for baked tomato and mozzarella bruschetta… There’s so many versions of this typical Italian starter that I don’t know where to start with their story!
So basically, brischetta is an antipasto (starter, for you and me) from Italy. Originally, consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt. Then we can find other variations of the toppings that include tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meats or cheese. The most popular variation is bruschetta with tomatoes – one popular recipe outside Italy involves basil, fresh tomato, garlic and mozzarella.
Origin of Bruschetta
Bruschetta originated in Italy during 16th century. But variations of this dish can be traced back to Ancient Rome, when olive growers would bring their olives to a local olive press and taste a sample of their freshly pressed oil using a slice of bread.
The word Bruschetta comes from the Roman dialect verb “bruscare” which is equivalent to the Italian word “abbrustolire” which means “to toast” or “to toast over coals”.
Baked tomato and mozzarella bruschetta
Although the original recipe calls for toasted bread and fresh ingredients as a topping, I decided to go for the baked version. Just because I love the way the mozzarella cheese melts on top of the warm tomatoes… yummm! Now I’m hungry: what about a nice baked tomato and mozzarella bruschetta? 🙂
My own take on an Italian classic...
- 2 cup cherry tomatoes finely chopped
- 1/2 red onion finely chopped
- 1 garlic glove finely chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 French baguette bread or any other bread of your choice sliced
- 150 g fresh mozzarella cheese cubed
Preheat the oven - grill
In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion and garlic.
Season with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Arrange the slices of bread on a baking sheet and place the sheet in the middle of the oven to toast the bread. Allow 1 to 2 minutes or remove when golden brown.
While the toasted slices are on the baking sheet, brush one side of the warm bread with olive oil. If desired for added flavor, the pieces of bread can be rubbed with a clove of garlic prior to brushing on the olive oil or use a garlic flavored olive oil.
Top each piece of bread with the tomato, onion and garlic mixture making sure all the surface of the bread is covered.
Then, top the mixture with the mozzarella cheese and basil.
Place the baking sheet in the middle of the oven to melt the cheese, approximately 1 minute or until slightly melted.
Remove from oven and serve.