The tomatoes this summer: oy! As big as babies and as sweet as agave. I don’t think there’s a better way to use summertime tomatoes than in a quick caprese: bocconcini cheese, tomato and basil sliced, layered and drizzled with good olive oil, coarse sea salt and a bit of black pepper.
But even perfect simplicity has its limits, and now that we’re heading towards the end of summer, I’ve had it up to here with caprese salad. That’s when it’s time for an end-of-summer platter of crispy, drippy Italian bruschetta.
It’s almost as easy to make as the caprese salad! Here's my recipe.
Olive oil (to drizzle on bread)
1 clove garlic
4-5 large ripe tomatoes
Handful fresh basil leaves
Pinch of sugar
1 tsp herbs de Provence (optional)
3 tbsp olive oil
Step 1: Slice the fresh, long baguette into individual crostini sizes. Drizzle both sides of each slice with a healthy dose of olive oil, and then put them on a preheated medium-hot barbecue until they’re good and crunchy.
Step 2: When they’re hot off the grill, rub one side of each toasted round with the fat clove of garlic. Set aside.
Step 3: Core the tomatoes then coarsely chop them.
Step 4: Slice basil leaves into strips.
Step 5: Put tomatoes and basil in a bowl and mash up the mixture along with some coarse salt, black pepper, a pinch of sugar and a teaspoon of herbs de Provence (if you’ve got some on hand).
Step 6: Drain off some of the liquid and then add the 3 tablespoons of olive oil and give it another stir. Taste for seasoning. Spoon onto the platter of prepared crostini and pour some of the juice over top so that the bread soaks it up and softens up.
Farewell summer! You’ve been a particularly delicious one!