As I wrote in my last post, we recently enjoyed a Saturday dinner of Italian appetizers with friends. The inspiration for the Italian theme was the ready to be picked basil plant on our front porch. I love using fresh basil in recipes, most often in tomato-based dishes. Whether it be a caprese salad or eggplant stacks, fresh basil is essential.
As we were eating finger foods on Saturday, I decided to make a dip that could be eaten without utensils. A bruschetta dip seemed a perfect use for basil. It could be made early in the day to allow the flavors to meld, which also meant no cooking while our friends were here.
The combination of fresh basil, garlic, tomatoes, and balsamic vinegar give this bruschetta topping a pleasant cornucopia of flavors. However, if you want a little extra flavor or saltiness in this dish, you can top it with crumbled feta cheese. It is a beautiful combination of sweet, salty, and savory.
- 5 plum tomatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 basil leaves, minced
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 garlic clove, halved
- In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, basil, and vinegar, and toss well.
- Cover, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Preheat grill.
- Rub one side of each baguette slice with cut edge of garlic.
- Place bread onto grill, garlic side down.
- Cook for 1 or 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve bread and tomato-basil topping separately to prevent bread from becoming soggy.
- Serve with feta, if desired.