Clean & Easy Cooking 1

With the new year here, a popular resolution for many of us tends to be eating healthier. Though this may mean different things to different people, a majority of us want to eat foods with higher nutritional content, without being processed, artificial or fake. If you’re not growing your food already, then to the grocery store it is, where more outlets are carrying local, farm raised, eco-friendly products. Notice how I did not use the “O” word (organic). Some people can get intimidated, associating organic food with flavorless or alien-like substances they’ve never heard of but akin to eating, say, rocks or tree bark. Not so!

The following recipe is one you can make with all organic items, or, if not, at least choose locally-produced ingredients, which helps your local economy and still produce a highly-quality result. This little number is not just for appetizers, but partnered with fresh, cooked pasta, and chicken, pork or beef, or on top of fish or seafood, it packs a delectable wallop. Freeze extras, and you will have a staple which gets you out of the dreaded “what’s for dinner” dilemma.

Not only is this recipe versatile, but the contents add some solid nutritional street cred. The tomatoes provide lycopene, nature’s sunscreen in humans and plants; the garlic and onions have essential vitamins and minerals; the basil has immunity-boosting properties, and this bruschetta is down right delicious!

Fresh Tomato Bruschetta – Recipe Courtesy of InspiredTaste.net

  • PREP 15 mins
  • COOK 5 mins
  • TOTAL 20 mins

This simple bruschetta recipe with tomato and fresh basil is best when you use fresh, room temperature tomatoes. It’s also important to set aside a little time to allow the tomatoes to sit with salt. As the tomatoes sit, they become extra flavorful. They also release some of their juices, which is perfect for spooning onto the bread later.

Makes two servings, three bruschettas each

YOU WILL NEED

1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, at room temperature (3 to 4 medium)

Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 basil leaves, thinly sliced

6 1/2-inch thick slices Italian or French bread

2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

DIRECTIONS

Halve tomatoes then remove and discard the majority of the seeds. Chop tomatoes into 1/4-inch chunks then add to a medium bowl with a generous pinch of salt, a small pinch of black pepper, one tablespoon of the olive oil and the basil. Stir and let sit 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over medium heat or prepare an outdoor grill for medium heat. Drizzle bread slices with remaining tablespoon of oil and grill 2 to 3 minutes on each side until warmed through and grill marks appear.

Rub one side of the bread while still warm with garlic — two to three strokes per bread slice should do it.

Stir the tomatoes one more time; taste then adjust with more salt or pepper as needed. Spoon a generous amount onto each bread slice. Drizzle a little of the juice remaining at the bottom of the bowl over tomatoes and enjoy.