Tomato Bruschetta

I recently found a couple of rogue tomato plants that had somehow taken root in my garden beds. Now it has to be said that I have tried and failed many times to grow my own fruit, herbs and vegetables,  so I have given up and now only keep hardy succulents that I know I can't kill.

But when I saw these tomato plants growing out of nowhere, I decided to leave them and see how they fared without my grey thumb touching them. So, surprise surprise, I now have two large tomato vines, both baring fruit to the tune of about 30-40 tomatoes. These beauties have thrived on my neglect and I was able to pluck two ripe ones yesterday. WINNING!

In honour of the first fruit I have ever grown from a seedling in my own backyard, I decided to make the most traditional tomato dish ever- Tomato Bruschetta! Bruschetta, meaning 'toasted bread' has no limits it seems, with most restaurants serving all different incarnations of the delicious Italian snack. There is only one true bruschetta in my mind though, and it is nicely grilled bread, with top-quality ripened tomatoes and fresh basil chopped up on top drizzled with olive oil and lashings of salt and pepper. To 'tart' it up a bit this time, I add a little bit of good quality balsamic glaze and some chunks of goats cheese- cos why not!

You will need...
4 thin slices of good quality pane di casa or sourdough
2 nice vine-ripened tomatoes, washed and eye removed (the bit where the stalk is attached)
1 sprig of fresh basil, washed and picked
1 clove garlic
olive oil
salt and pepper
Optional extras- balsamic glaze, finely diced spanish onion, shaved parmesan, crumbled danish feta or goats cheese (I used goats cheese).

1. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on both sides of the bread and place on to grill (I do this in a skillet, but you could do it on a char-grill plate of a BBQ, or even just under the grill of your oven)
2. Dice the tomato into even squares, then add to a bowl. Thinly slice the basil, add the the tomato and season with sea salt, ground black pepper and a generous drizzle of olive oil.
3. Peel the garlic clove, and once the bread is nicely toasted, gently scrape the garlic clove over the slice of bread to impart a gentle garlic flavour.
4. Use a spoon to divide the tomato mixture over the grilled bread, drizzle with balsamic if using, and serve.

Even the fur babies wanted some!


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