What is it about crunchy bits of bread with a deliciously composed topping? And I use that term loosely – a topper of aged cheddar can also be “composed” when one is fending off the munchies during the commercial break of a really good tv show! Our humble little bruschetta is all about the tomato-cuke salad on the top, world’s greatest dressing-delivery-device ever!
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 cup Olive Oil
2 or 3 teaspoons Honey
3 or 4 Sprigs Thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste
Chop the herbs and place in a blender with the vinegar and honey. Put the blender’s lid on and remove the hole cover in the middle of the lid. Turn the blender on to a medium speed and slowly drizzle the olive oil into the blender. The oil and vinegar will emulsify giving you a nice, thick dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4 or 5 tomatoes
Peel and seed the cucumber, cut into strips and then cut the strips into about 1/4 inch pieces. Quarter and seed the tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces about the same size as your cucumber pieces. Place cucumber and tomato into a bowl. Add a little of the dressing and toss gently to coat. Add more dressing if needed. (Save the remaining dressing for another salad or to use as a sauce for steak.)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
Parmesan or Pecorino cheese
To make your Bruschetta, take a nice baguette and slice it on a slight diagonal. Brush both sides of each slice with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gently broil the slices of bread until they are lightly toasted (you want some color and texture, not hockey pucks). Now, peal your cloves of garlic and cut them in half. Rub the cut side on the top of your bread. Place the bread on a plate and top with the tomato and cucumber salad. Top with thin pieces of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese (a peeler makes nice thin slices.) Serve.
Oh, and if the salad doesn’t quite stay on the top of your crunchy slices, you can easily spread a little of the leftover dressing on the top so the salad will “stick” better. Who needs leftover dressing anyway?