You will need: a loaf of fresh bread, butter (or spread), tomatoes, garlic- minced, basil, red wine vinaigrette dressing, and a ball of fresh mozzarella cheese.
Marie's Red Wine vinaigrette is our go-to option for bruschetta and it's
great on salads too. It's with the refrigerated dressings.
First things first. Heat up your oven to 350.
Slice the bread- baguette or a loaf of soft french bread is good stuff, but you can improvise on whatever fresh bread you like. Not too thick, because you'll be layering stuff and you want to be able to fit most of it in your mouth. Spread a little (a very little) bit of butter (or Smart Balance, in my house) on your bread.
Here you have a few options: you can toast the bread lightly (a good option if your bread is soft, you don't want it getting soggy), you can toss it in a skillet to crisp it up (also good if your bread is soft), or, if you have a really crunchy baguette, you can toss it straight on a cookie sheet.
Slice up that mozzarella. It takes some practice to get the slices right on a slippery ball of cheese, but oh sweet goodness, it is amazing. Try not to eat it all... but that will be difficult.
Place mozzarella on your bread and put that sucker in the oven for about 9 minutes. Take it out when it all looks gooey and melty and insane. Like so:
While it is getting to that point, slice up your tomatoes (or have your sous chef do that while you do the above). We used 4 on-the-vine tomatoes, but you can use grape tomatoes, plum tomatoes, or any that you find delicious. Bonus points if you get them at a farmers market. Then add about 1/2 teaspoon to one teaspoon of garlic. Depends on how garlicy you like it.
We like our garlic. Add chopped basil. We like that too. Add a lug or two of dressing. I never measure it out, but you only want enough to coat the tomatoes. You don't want it swimming in dressing! No Marie's? Try a touch of olive oil and a hint of balsamic vinegar. Yum. (You can also do this ahead of time and stick it in the fridge to marinate a bit.)
Your bread should be done now. Add a heaping spoonful of the tomato mixture onto each piece of bread. Quick like a fox, you want the bread to be hot. You should really just skip any entree plans and just eat this for dinner... with lots of napkins and no utensils.
Welcome to Italy!
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