If tomatoes, basil and fresh mozzarella don’t scream summer, than I don’t know what does.
My husband and I eat some variation of the caprese salad all summer long. Whether it’s over some greens or tossed into a pasta salad, the combination of flavors never gets old. This bruschetta is my latest interpretation.
The caprese salad hails from Italy and its one of those salads that best served in the summer when the tomatoes are at their peak. The simple salad is typically made of sliced fresh buffalo mozzarella and tomatoes, fresh basil, and is usually seasoned with salt, pepper, and olive oil.
This is a great appetizer to serve since almost all of the prep can be done ahead. Making grilled bruschetta for company is a favorite of mine. It’s a great summer time dish since you don’t have to turn on a hot oven. My husband and I love this so much that we’ve actually been making it as our dinner. Served with some simple mixed greens, getting dinner on the table couldn’t be easier.
Living in Utah can make for some interesting weather. It’s unpredictable and it’s not uncommon to have snow in June. Great for skiing, not so great for our already short growing season. So while I’m not so patiently waiting for tomatoes to make their way to the farmers market, the grocery store tomatoes will have to do.
I have a few tricks for brightening up tomatoes that aren’t quite at their peak. Roasting them is ideal and something that I do a lot of during the cold months. But since it’s hot as a Mother outside, marinating them with some fresh garlic and olive oil is another great trick to add some flavor.
It’s not uncommon that you’ll find a tupperware of these tomatoes in our fridge. We toss them on top of scrambled eggs or a green salad and are delicious tossed with some warm spaghetti.
This is one of those dishes that gets all the taste buds going at once. Grilling the bread imparts a nice smokey flavor while giving the bread a nice crunchy exterior which prevents it from getting too soggy. The fresh mozzarella is creamy and decadent, the slightly acidic tomatoes and the raw garlic give it a great bite and the fresh basil and reduced balsamic adds the perfect amount of sweetness.
If you can’t tell, I love this app.
Yep, that’s how I’d describe it.
Grilled Crostini with Garlic Marinated Tomatoes
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1/2 loaf of nice hearty Italian or French bread, cut 1/4-inch thick
- 6 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
- fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons reduced balsamic vinegar
To prepare tomatoes, half or quarter the cherry tomatoes. Put them in a small bowl with minced garlic and 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of kosher salt. Let sit at room temperature about 30 minutes. (Tomatoes can be made ahead and stored in the fridge. Let come to room temperature before serving.) While tomatoes are marinating, heat grill to medium-high. Spread each slice of french bread with just a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Grill bread 2-3 minutes on each side until a nice grill mark is imparted on the bread and it’s heated all the way through. Layer the bread with fresh mozzarella and top with a generous spoonful of the marinated tomatoes. Tear a few pieces of basil and scatter on crostini. Finish with a drizzle of reduced balsamic.