Wine Pairing: Müller-Thurgau from Trentino
Makes 8 bruschetta
In Tuscany, the most common bruschetta is a slice of untoasted bread topped with fresh ripe tomato and basil salad dressed with delicious young olive oil. Tradition aside, this version delivers more flavor and more substance, transforming a simple snack into an irresistible antipasti. Or serve a couple of slices per person, add a beer, and call it dinner.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for oiling a baking dish
8 plum (Roma) tomatoes, halved lengthwise
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two 3-inch sprigs fresh thyme
4 wide slices crusty bread, about 8 inches across, cut in half vertically to make 8 pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1 large garlic clove, peeled
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
8 large basil leaves
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 300°F.
2. Lightly oil a baking dish just large enough to hold the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes, cut sides up, in the dish and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Add the thyme and drizzle with the tablespoon of oil. Bake until the tomatoes are shrunken and very tender, and their juices are thick and concentrated, about 2 hours. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Discard the thyme.
3. Position the broiler rack 6 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler on high.
4. Drizzle the bread with the olive oil. Toast the bread in the broiler on one side, about 11∕2 minutes. Turn the bread and very lightly toast the other side, about 30 seconds more. Remove the bread from the broiler and rub the more toasted side with the garlic clove. Turn over and divide the mozzarella evenly over the lightly toasted sides. Return the bread to the broiler and cook until the mozzarella melts, about 1 minute.
5. Transfer the bread to a cutting board. Tear the basil leaves into small pieces. Top each slice with 2 tomato halves, sprinkle with the basil, and serve immediately with a fork and knife.
Photo taken by Eric Wolfinger
Pair this dish with a delicious and juicy filet mignon.