Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Cherry Tomato & Shallot Bruschetta

I never used know what the heck to do with cherry tomatoes as I am just not that fond of them. However I believe that little problem has now been solved.

And how many people does 12 pieces of toast serve? Well, there were 4 of us, and it served us. I have a feeling, though, that if there were 24 pieces of toast, or 2 of us, there would have been the same amount left over; namely none.

Ridiculously good? Why yes; I'd say so.

12 pieces of toast
20 minutes prep time

Make the Chile-Garlic Oil:
1 large clove of garlic
1 1" piece of fresh red cayenne or other hot pepper
1/4 cup sunflower or olive oil

Have the garlic peeled and sliced, and the pepper de-stemmed and sliced. Heat the oil in a small pot until it is quite hot, but not smoking or bubbling. Remove it from the heat and add the garlic and hot pepper. Allow it to cool, then strain it and store it in a tightly capped jar. This can be done at least a day in advance. The longer you let it sit before you strain it, the stronger it will be.

This makes enough for 2 batches of bruschetta.

Make the Bruschetta:
4 large shallots
16 to 24 cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh basil
1 tablespoon sunflower or olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 small baguette loaf
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Peel the shallots and cut them in slivers. Wash the cherry tomatoes and cut them in halves. Wash, dry, and mince the basil. Toss all these in a shallow pan with the oil - which can be the flavoured oil, or not, depending on how strongly it is flavoured and how strong you would like the finished bruschetta to be. Broil the vegetables until softened and cooked, with lightly charred spots. Stir once or twice during this process to make sure they are fairly evenly cooked.

Meanwhile, slice the baguette in half lengthwise, then into serving sized pieces; 1 got 12 pieces approximately 2" square. Place them on a baking tray. Drizzle them with about 2 tablespoons of the chile-garlic oil.

When the vegetables are ready, remove them to the stove top and place the bread pieces under the broiler. Remove them when they are toasted to your liking. Spoon the bruschetta topping evenly over the toasts along with any juices that they have given off, and drizzle the balsamic vinegar over them as well. Return them to the broiler for just a minute to be sure they are served piping hot.

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