Thursday, November 4, 2010

Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta

If conventional tomatoes are the supermodels of supermarket shelves, then heirloom tomatoes are the natural beauties, untainted by the genetic modifications designed to make their picture perfect counterparts stand up to long transportation times and brusque handling. Heirlooms are the pure breeds. But with that comes some ungainly appearances, mottled coloring, and what some might call imperfections. Nevertheless, heirloom tomatoes elevate this dish from the everyday Italian standby. So skip the picture-perfect red orbs and go for the sometimes peculiar heirloom tomatoes. Sample a new variety each time you make this appetizer.

serves four

4 slices boule
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup mini heirloom tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a wide skillet over medium heat. When it is good and hot, cook the bread on each side until it is golden and toasty.

While the bread is cooking, slice each tomato in half or in quarters and make a chiffonade of the basil leaves. Toss these together with the balsamic and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove the toasted bread slices to a plate and top with tomato mixture. Serve immediately.

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