Working at home allows you to be creative with your lunches at times. Yesterday was one of those rare days when I actually had time to do something outside the ordinary. (Usually it's a protein-based fruit smoothie.) We didn't have much in the 'fridge except a bunch of odds and ends. After a bit of rooting aroud I discovered that we had the makings of Bruschetta!
Just a quick lesson in the history of Bruschetta (pronounced brusKEtta). As you probably know, it originated in central Italy - as far back as the 15th century. It consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. Variations may include toppings of spicy red pepper, tomato, vegetables and/or cheese. Bruschetta is usually served as a snack or appetizer. In Tuscany, bruschetta is called fettunta, meaning "oiled slice". So don't believe those Nabsico commercials that try to tell you that a cracker topped with tomatoes is Bruschetta. It's just marketing spiel.
Anyway, here's how I made my bruschetta. I took what was left of a nice, crusty baguette and sliced it into 6 slices. Laid these on the pan from our toaster oven and brushed them with olive oil on one side. I broiled them until they started to brown around the edges. Then, I cut one clove of garlic in half and smeared it on the still-warm bread slices.
While the bread was browning I sliced 2 very ripe tomatoes into 1/2 inch dice. Into the bowl with the tomatoes I drizzled some Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a splash of good balsamic vinegar. I added some sea salt and pepper to taste. Then I added some slivered shallots. (I would have added some chunks of fresh mozzarella but I didn't have any onhand). Once the tomatoes macerated a bit (fancy culinary word for 'soaked') I topped the bread with a generous spoonful. The last item - but certainly not least - was a good chiffonade (fancy culinary word for 'herbs cut into long, thin strips') of basil from my garden.
It was fresh, of the season, and cleaned up some of the leftovers in the house. What could be better for a weekday lunch?