If there are kids in the kitchen who want to help out, you can ditch the knives for this easy appetizer; just rip the tomatoes and basil with your hands. The tomato mixture can also be tossed with pasta to make a fresh sauce.
From the book "Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Wiley).
Mad Hungry, October 2010
- 1 8-inch loaf round Italian bread, cut in half crosswise, and cut into 10 slices per side
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 to 6 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice (about 3 cups)
- 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, cleaned, stacked in a pile, rolled, and cut into a fine julienne
- 6 cloves garlic, 3 crushed and 3 cut in half lengthwise
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Set the oven rack in the top part of the oven.
- Place sliced bread on rimmed baking sheets. Cook 10 minutes or until lightly toasted. Flip bread and toast 5 more minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium-sized bowl, place the olive oil, tomatoes, basil, 3 crushed garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Rub the 3 halved garlic cloves, cut side down, over every piece of toasted bread. Spoon a couple tablespoons of tomato mixture over each piece of toast and serve immediately.
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