Farmers' market tomatoes + bruschetta recipe
This past weekend, we braved the scorching heat to visit the Anne Arundel County Farmers' Market. Ever since we returned from Italy, I've been searching for tomatoes as flavorful as the ones we enjoyed during our trip. Fortunately, the local farmers' markets abound with these savory fruits, particularly during the summer months. I picked up a couple dozen of the largest cherry tomatoes I've ever seen, along with several heirloom varieties.
Is there anything better than biting into a juicy ripe tomato on a hot day? Personally, I can't think of a thing.
But fresh bruschetta made with aforementioned tomatoes runs a close second. Tomatoes, with their delicate savory-sweet flavor, are perfect for casual summertime recipes. And with their boost of lycopene (an antioxidant) and their high water content (helping to keep you hydrated!), they're as good for your body as they are delicious. Make this bruschetta with the best-looking farmers' market tomatoes you can find. Almost any kind of tomatoes will work, provided they're more sweet than tart. (And some heirloom varieties can be rather tart, so ask your tomato vendor if you're unsure.)
Bruschetta with Farmers' Market Tomatoes
About 1.5 lbs ripe organic tomatoes (again, almost any kind will work, but I personally like super sweet cherry tomatoes)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped (you will usually find fresh basil at the farmers' market during the summer months)
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mix ingredients together in a bowl. It doesn't get much simpler than that, does it? Some recipes will have you remove the tomato skins and seeds first, but I don't mind the added texture, so I usually don't bother with that.
Of course, the traditional bruschetta preparation is to spoon this tomato mixture atop slices of baguette that have been brushed with olive oil and rubbed with garlic before being toasted or grilled. But, just as often, I'll use it to top off a big mixed greens salad or a as a substitute for marinara sauce on a plate of whole grain pasta, sometimes adding artichoke hearts or Greek olives to the mix.
What's your favorite summertime recipe?