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Bruschetta with Herbed Tomatoes

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Serves six to eight.

For these bruschetta, the quality of the tomatoes makes all the difference. Use good ripe ones from your garden or pick up some at the local farmers' market.

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, cut in 1/4-inch slices (you should have 12 slices)
  • 4 Tbs. Rosemary Garlic Oil
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  • A scant 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
  • 12 3/4-inch-thick slices from a crusty artisan-style loaf (from about 1/2 lb. bread)
  • 1 tsp. good balsamic vinegar, preferably aged

Heat a gas grill to medium or prepare a medium-hot charcoal fire. (Or heat the broiler to high.) Set the tomato slices on a small rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of the oil, the thyme, red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp. kosher salt. Let sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes or up to a couple of hours.

Brush both sides of the bread with the remaining 3 Tbs. oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill (or broil) until crisp with prominent grill marks (or nicely browned), about 2 min. Flip and cook the other side in the same manner. Transfer to a platter and let cool to room temperature (they can sit for up to 2 hours, loosely covered).

Pour the tomato juices from the baking sheet into a small bowl. Before serving, brush these juices on the bread. Top with the tomatoes and a drop or two of balsamic vinegar and serve.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 150; Fat (g): fat g 8; Fat Calories (kcal): 70; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 1; Protein (g): protein g 3; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 16; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 450; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 0; Fiber (g): fiber g 1;

Photo: Scott Phillips

This is one of our favorite summer starters to show off our home-grown tomatoes. I like the rosemary-garlic oil, but it's also a fun way to use other flavored oils, too. I think the best part is the way the tomatoes are prepared, and the tomato "run-off" is used to brush the toasts.

We liked this as a first course. It certainly isn't fussy. The first heirlooms are in our market - no question the better the tomato the better this is.

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