I'm the kind of person who likes to follow directions. Doesn't really matter what they are, but I figure everything should turn out moderately well if directions are followed. Same is true for recipes. The step by step instructions usually lead you toward a decent finished product. Now, I know from personal experience that, especially with recipes, even the most specific directions don't always yield the expected results. And every once in a while I get brave enough to throw caution to the wind and make up my own.
Last night, R was making his famous lemon and garlic pasta, but I wanted something extra to go with it. R loves bruschetta and I had a quickly-ripening tomato, so it seemed like a good plan. After consulting some reliable recipes, I chose to go it on my own. And the results were fantastic! Ripe tomatoes, freshly baked bread and high quality parmesan cheese made the perfect combination for an easy bruschetta. The fresh flavor complimented the garlic in the pasta with a lightness the meal needed.
I used a French baguette and found the pieces to be slightly small. Next time I'd try to find a wider Italian bread, I think. I'd also cut them a little thinner - it's hard to bite into a 1-inch thick piece of bread! All in all it was a very successful attempt and I was proud of my creation. But I don't think I'm quite ready to get rid of the cookbooks yet....
2 large tomatoes
1 loaf Italian bread
3-4 leaves fresh basil, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 C. onion, chopped
1-2 Tbs. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Seed and dice tomatoes and place in a bowl. Add basil, garlic, onion, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
Cut bread into slices 1/2-inch thick. Drizzle grill pan with olive oil. Place slices on pan, turning each piece of bread to make sure both sides have oil. Toast bread over medium heat until both sides are golden brown. If you don't have a grill pan, this can be done in the toaster oven.
Top each slice of bread with a spoonful of the tomato mixture. Using a vegetable peeler, shave long curls of parmesan and top each bread slice with a curl.