Monday, October 8, 2012

keeping the vampires away tonight...

I have a love obsession with....and a inability to go easy on....garlic. 
Among other things.

Tonight's recipe is exhibit A.

My breath is exhibit B.

Luckily for you, you can't smell my breath right now. 
Also luckily for you, I'm going to share my bruschetta recipe.   And when I say "my bruschetta recipe" I really mean my interpretation of a few different recipes I've looked up recently, along with my own little twists on them.

It all started when I realized I bought an extra pint of grape tomatoes, and my sister brought a baguette to my house when I invited her to have some of my leftovers last night.  I knew I didn't want either to go to waste....and what is more obvious with those two ingredients than bruschetta?

I don't have a recipe with measurements (what's new, right?), but I will take you on a step-by-step photo journey through this impromptu dinner.  And literally.....with as many of these as I ate tonight, it was dinner for me.  :)

I first assembled all of the ingredients:
2 pints of grape tomatoes (I used red and yellow-- just because, it's prettier that way)
crusty french baguette
fresh basil
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
I halved the tomatoes....but you could of course chop them in whatever size/shape you want.
I love the big, chunky style of bruschetta.
Next, I used one of my favorite "knife skills" that I've learned over the years....the chiffonade.   I love to say "chiffonade", I love the rolling of the basil, I love how it looks so pretty when it's done.
And....I love fresh basil.
For those who haven't been introduced to this's super easy.
First, make a nice healthy stack of basil leaves.
They're so pretty, aren't they?  Even on a messy cutting board!  :)
Roll them up tight:
Lay down the roll and cut across the roll, working your way down the length of the roll until you've cut it all into very thin strips.  I didn't take a picture of this step.....because, well....I'm not that talented.  I can't chiffonade and take a picture at the same time apparently. 
But here's what it looks like when you're done:
Next step....I peeled a good, healthy amount of garlic.
More than the average person would probably use.  But.....that's how I roll.  You can adjust this to your own taste.  You'll probably want to halve the amount that I used.  Unless you're a garlic freak like I am.  Which, if that's the case.....welcome to the club!
Two cloves for the garlic-infused butter, and four (yes, I said four) for the bruschetta.
Please don't judge. 
I cut a couple cloves in half and heated them up in a mixture of butter (a couple tablespoons) and oil (a few tablespoons) for the baguette slices.  I'll get to that step later.
The rest of the garlic was grated (yes, not's such a time saver) into a pan with some oil and garlic.  This was the base of the "glue" for the bruschetta.
I didn't think it was enough oil for the amount of garlic I used (shocker!), so I added a little butter to the pan to have a "saucier" feel to it.
Once the garlic was fragrant, but NOT burned, I poured the garlicky-butter-oil mixture into a bowl.
Added the chopped tomatoes and basil.

Along with some balsamic vinegar (1-2 tablespoons), salt, and pepper to taste.
I saw a warning on a recipe to be careful to not oversalt this, so I just put a pinch of salt to start.
Definitely taste it at this point to see if your seasonings are right.
Then, cover the mixture and leave it in the fridge for as long as you can stand it.
Or at least for as long as it takes you to make the bread.
For the bread.....I first cut it at an angle to make large slices. 
Lay the slices out on a baking sheet.
Brush each slice with your garlic-infused butter/oil mixture.
And put the tray under your broiler set on high.
Make sure to watch them so they don't burn--- it won't take long!!
Here's what they'll look like when you first take them out.  Warning: it may be difficult to not eat the entire pan of toasted garlicky bread.  But don't forget about the delicious bowl of goodness you have waiting in the fridge!  That just sets it over the top.
Luckily, this is a pretty healthy snack....or in my case, meal.
I think it would be even better with a little parmesan cheese freshly grated on top.
But I was all out of that. 
I think that this made up for the lack of cheese:
Well, I'm off to brush my teeth a few times.  Maybe by tomorrow the garlic smell will be gone.
For the sake of my 28 fourth graders, I hope so!


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