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Tomato & Basil Bruschetta with Peppercorn Cheese

We started growing tomatoes, peppers, and herbs this year on the back deck and I don't know if you've ever grown your own vegetables before, but once they get going you really end up with a lot of veggies.

Right now we're getting about five tomatoes or so a week from two plants, and they're adding up fast. On top of that the basil is going crazy too; there's only but so much pesto you can eat.

We decided to do what any sane person would do in this situation: make bruschetta. With bruschetta the first issue is always that of pronunciation. I myself say /bru-shet-ə/, and have been saying it that way all my life. And then last year I was watching the Food Network and all of a sudden everyone is saying /bru-sket-ə/. I don't know which is correct (personally I think it's really /bruss-chedd-ə/), but you can say either. And that's because I determine how people pronounce foods.

Bruschetta is fairly simple to make. We used french bread, olive oil, garlic, basil, tomatoes & peppercorn cheese. Watch the peppercorn cheese, if you use it. It's not made with cracked pepper, but rather whole peppercorns which may or may not a)crack a tooth or b)explode in your mouth not unlike a tiny pepper-bomb when you bite into it.

So first you brush the sliced bread with the olive oil and bake it till it's just about done, then take it out and rub the oiled/toasty surface with a piece of garlic. This works best if you slice the clove in half and then rub the exposed part on there. I honestly thought this was bullshit till I tried it, but it really does give the bread a garlicky flavor. After that, layer on the tomato/basil/cheese and bake it some more till it's all toasted and the cheese is melty.

When Rowan did this, she also boiled up corn and sliced some orange wedges. Applejack, always the helper, filled a bowl with grapes. Oh sure on first glance it may seem he's sneaking one for himself, but he's actually done that whole bowl by himself.

And there in the last picture you can see the whole meal assembled. With all the toppings on there, it was like eating a little pizza. It would probably be pretty good with other pizza toppings, maybe like pineapple or pepperoni or anchovies. Yes, I'm one of those people who actually likes anchovies on their pizza.

They're really not as nasty as people think. I mean, yeah, they taste a little fishy but mostly it's just a salty flavor. The bones are soft and you don't even feel 'em crunching.

Okay, I guess I don't paint the prettiest of pictures when it comes to anchovies. But seriously, they're good. If you're really worried, just try them when you're drunk.

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