Bringing Italy Home
One of the highlights of traveling to Italy is the food. No matter the region, it is exceptional. So often, with the simplest of ingredients, they create masterpieces. Once home, it becomes even more apparent that there is something unique in its cuisine, from the pizza to the pasta. One of the most remarkable differences is a core ingredient of Italian cuisine, the tomato. The flavor, the color, the smell, and the juiciness are hard to capture once home. One of our favorite dishes in Italy is fresh Tomato bruschetta. Upon returning home from our most recent travels, Joelle found herself extolling the wonders of bruschetta with her family and friends, making her miss Italy all the more.
To capture some of that magic, Joelle attempted to replicate it with the Tomato Balsamic Bruschetta we enjoyed so much. The biggest challenge is finding good tomatoes. It wasn’t as complicated as expected; she found fresh mini Marzano Roma tomatoes at Trader Joe’s. They were inexpensive, and as close as you could have imagined, you could get to real Italy tomatoes.
The Tomato and Balsamic Bruschetta was a massive hit with everyone, and it is the perfect appetizer. Even the one-year-old could not get enough of it, though he already was a fan of tomatoes. It motivated us to start a recipe page on the blog. This is our first recipe to launch the page.
Want to learn more about Italian tomatoes? Check out this Guide to Italian Tomatoes
The Tomato Balsamic Bruschetta recipe that follows is simple and quick to make. Many of the ingredients can be increased or decreased based on your audience. Joelle added more basil and crushed red pepper flakes to hers. It is an easy recipe to experiment with as well.
Please let us know how it went and what you did to make it your own. As we add more recipes, if you have any, you brought home from your travels, email them or share a link in the comment below. We may try it out and even feature it in a future entry.
In the meantime, buon appetito!
Tomato Balsamic Bruschetta
- 20 ounces fresh and well ripened plum tomatoes I used Trader Joe’s Mini San Marzano Plum tomatoes which were exceptional quality and reminded me of the tomatoes in Italy
- 1/2 cup Coarsely chopped fresh basil
- 3 cloves fresh garlic
- 1/2 cup sweet onion
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesean cheese Ideally freshly shredded
- 1 1/2-2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp fine black pepper
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- fine kosher salt to desired taste
- 1 full size french baquette sliced, lightly brushed with olive oil and rubbed with sliced garlic and toasted in the oven for about 5 minutes or to desired crispness.
- In a bowl, toss together the tomatoes, basil, parmesan cheese, and onion. Mix in the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, oregano, red pepper flakes, and kosher salt. Refridgerate.
- Ideally make 2 hours before serving to allow the flavors to blend.
- Serve in a bowl surrounded with sliced toasted baguette slices for an elegant presentation. Offer both a slotted and regular serving spoon as some like the juices and others may like it drier.
Enjoy your little piece of Italy!
Considering an Italian adventure? Check out our Italy Travel Guide
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