I have the most amazing tomatoes this year. I’ve quit calling them tomato bushes and started referring to them as my mutant tomato trees. I have no idea what I did different, unless you count neglecting them, which apparently is working for me. Either way, with all of these delicious tomatoes, we needed something to make with them and so I decided to whip up a recipe that Brady and I made up with when he was younger and grew his first Roma tomato plant.
Back in the day before my little garden, I would grow tomato plants in buckets on the back porch. I usually grew full sized tomatoes as well as cherry or romas as well. Little Bradybug loved the little tomatoes best of all. I’d open the door and he’d dart out and grab them off the vine, sometimes plopping them in his mouth stem and all! As soon as he was old enough I had him help me plant a bush and he was so proud to see it take off, especially when I’d send him to pick a few tomatoes to add to whatever I was cooking for supper.
You know, any little thing you can do to involve kids in cooking or meal prep really does mean the world to them. Kids love to feel useful, needed, and helpful, just like we do.
Now Bruschetta sounds all fancified, but don’t let that fool ya. It’s just some yummy things from the garden all mixed up and plopped on top of some toast with a little cheese on top. There are all kinds of fancier ways to make this but I don’t much go for the fancy stuff so here is how we do it. Come to think of it, Bruschetta seems to be a name that implies putting on airs and you know we don’t put on no airs here on Southern Plate. See the grace with which I just used a double negative in a sentence? Surely no one putting on airs would do that! So in light of this, I think I’m just gonna call it tomato stuff on bread from here on out.
You’ll need: Chopped tomatoes,chopped onions, minced garlic, basil, cheese, a store bought baguette, and some oil.
Note: that is WAY too much onion pictured. Anytime a recipe calls for a little chopped onion I just go ahead and chop up a whole one and freeze the rest in a little baggie to use later. You only need a tablespoon or two of onion for this.
~Begin tangent about Olive Oil, Graffiti, and Sneakers~
I don’t use olive oil so when it came to this recipe and knowing I’d need an oil to drizzle over the vegetables, I did spring for Safflower, which is an oil my dietetics professor turned me onto in college. It’s a little pricier than Vegetable but is a little lighter, has no taste or smell, and will let the tomatoes still star in this dish. Of course, you can also use vegetable oil if you like, or Olive Oil if you prefer.
Why don’t I use Olive Oil? Hmm, good question. I guess its just that everyone seems to be shoving it down your throat these days like it’s the second coming. People want you fry with it, bake with it, yadda yadda yadda. Well goodness gracious, have you looked at the price of that stuff? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Olive Oil is a bad thing, I’m just rebelling. You know, some folks might turn to violent music, join a circus, or lead a life of crime spray painting graffiti on bridges in order to rebel. Me, I’m good with just not using a certain type of oil for no reason other than I don’t wanna.
In addition to not using olive oil, I’m also avoiding the growing trends of wearing neon, short shorts, and any shoe with a heel high enough to cause nosebleeds for the wearer. To each his own.
Just know that I’ll stand behind anyone’s decision to use olive oil or wear those spikey shoes as long as they’ll support my decision to stick with my preferred oils and wear my sneakers🙂
Now that I mentioned my sneakers, I’m gonna show ’em off a bit. I just love these shoes, bought ’em special for my book tour. You see, you can fold down the tongue and show this glittery silver fabric so in my mind they go from day to evening wear with one motion! Genius, I know. 🙂 I can be ready for a ball at a moments notice while on the road and a gal just never knows when she’s gonna be invited to a ball ya know.
Back to our tomato stuff on bread…
When making this dish, it helps if you have a cute kid around. I find that cute kids make everything better anyway.
This cute kid is Jordan, the son of my friend Jamie. ~waves at Jordan~
Slice your bread into slices about 1/2 inch thick
Notice I said “about”. If you wanna go for inch thick slices or slices so thin you could read a paper through them, I’m not gonna argue with ya.
Your kitchen = your rules.
Place your chopped tomato and chopped onions in a bowl along with your garlic.
add a wee bit of oil
and your basil.
Feel free to use fresh basil here if you like, or add in any other herbs you enjoy with tomatoes. I am using dried basil because it is inexpensive and lasts so long. I like to keep it on hand for my Basil Corn anyway.
Stir that all up.
Refrigerate this for about an hour, to allow flavors to blend.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch…
Butter your bread and place in oven until toasted, about five to ten minutes on 350.
Once the top is toasted turn the pieces over and toast the bottom a little bit, too.
Now put a bit of your tomato stuff on top of each piece of toast.
You can use whatever cheese you have on hand. I think mozzarella is more traditional but I had this three cheese blend in my fridge and it worked just fine. No sense in making a special trip to the store!
YUM! This is kind of an appetizer but I think it makes a nice little lunch!
- 1 Cup chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tablespoon chopped onion
- 1-1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 Tablespoons oil Vegetable, safflower, olive, your choice
- 1 Tablespoon dried basil
- Baguette or other sturdy bread sliced in 1/2 inch slices*
- Cheddar cheese or whatever you have on hand
- Butter or margarine for bread
- Mix tomatoes, onion, garlic, oil, and basil in a medium bowl. Refrigerate for an hour to allow flavors to blend. Butter one side of sliced bread and place in 350 oven until lightly browned, five to ten minutes (keep an eye on it). Turn over and lightly brown bottom as well. Remove from oven and top with a spoonful of tomato mixture. Sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven just until cheese is melted.
- *You can just cut circles out of regular bread and toast those to use in this if you like. Or just cut the bread slices in half and make little triangles. Either way works fine!
Always be a first rate version of yourself,
instead of a second rate version of somebody else.
~Submitted by Lori. Submit your quote here to be included!