This tasty garlic, tomato and basil recipe was inspired for a recipe from Palermo, Sicily. I found a version of it in a book called Female Nomad and Friends. The author of the book is Rita Goldman Gelman. The author of a story and recipe in the book is Carolyn McKibbon, also known as Aglio, (garlic in Italian). She was nick-named for her love of garlic, just as my nick name is Brie, for the love of cheese. I once worked at the Paris food show and could not devour enough Brie.
My final inspiration came from the garden oasis of KarenO’Dowd at La Playa, on Longboat Key, Florida. At her recent pool party, she gave me the most delicious bunch of fresh basil. I had to find a recipe worthy of the fresh flavors.
Garlic, Tomato and Basil Bruschette
12 slices crusty baguette, 1/2 to 1 inch thick
2-3 juicy tomatoes, halved
6 cloves of garlic peeled and cut in half evoo
1 cup of the freshest and best tasting tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
Course ground sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh basil leaves, at least 12 large ones
Preheat oven to 485 degrees F.
Toast bread in oven until slightly golden, about 3-4 minutes.
Remove while warm, rub each slice with tomato half and then with garlic half.
Pour a layer of olive oil in a saucer and coat the side rubbed with the tomato and garlic.
Moisten the chopped tomatoes with a little olive oil, and spoon them on top of the bread slices.
Season with sea salt and pepper.
Top with basil leaves, roughly torn with fingers.
This recipe will serve 3 or 4 hungry people as a snack or appetizer.
Carolyn’s bruschette is as good as the ones the Hill team enjoyed in Italy. After walking the Tuscany hills for about 15 miles a day for a week, everything we tasted was especially delicious. A crisp white Italian wine is good with this bruschetta.