Monday, March 18, 2013

Basil Oil Bruschetta

I came up with this recipe two summers ago, but I've improved it with the use of a flavored olive oil. My family likes this version much better. I buy my oil and balsamic from Fustini's, a Michigan based company that has a crazy variety of fantastic tasting oils and vinegars.

(Just follow this link for a look... )

I'm sure you know that bruschetta is an antipasto from Italy. But did you know that it's origin dates to the 15th century? There are many variations on this starter, much more than we're used to seeing, including toppings of beans and cured meats. Mine is the tomato version. The flavored olive oil deepens and intensifies the flavor. It's a great recipe for entertaining when you don't have a lot of time because so much of it can be done in advance, and it tastes better if you do!

Basil Oil Bruschetta

1 baguette
10 oz. of cherry tomatoes
1/2 C. Fustini's Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced (I like garlic, so I use 2 cloves)
3 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
1/4 t. fresh rosemary, finely minced
1/8 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. sea salt

1/2 C. Fustini's 18-Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar
extra basil leaves for garnish

The night before (or 3-4 hours before serving) mix together the Fustini's Basil Extra Virgin Olive Oil, garlic, basil leaves, rosemary, crushed red pepper and sea salt in a bowl large enough to hold the oil mixture and all of the tomatoes. Slice each cherry tomato in half, then quarter and add them to the olive oil marinade. Cover and set aside until ready to serve.

Pour the Fustini's 18-Year Traditional Balsamic Vinegar in small sauce pan and heat over a low setting until reduced to a thick syrup. This can also be done in advance.

When ready to serve, slice the baguette in to thin rounds. Grill the rounds if you can. The flavor is so much better. If you can't grill, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lay the rounds out on a cookie sheet. Toast the bread in the oven checking every few minutes so it doesn't get too dark.

Lay the grilled or toasted bread out onto a serving plate. Spoon the tomatoes and some of the olive oil over the top. Drizzle the reduced balsamic over or near the bruschetta. Add the whole basil leaves. Serve!

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