Cherry Tomatoes Marinated with Basil, Chives, & Balsamic Vinegar on Bruschetta
A winning summertime combination—basil, chives, and tomatoes—on toasted garlic bread is the perfect way to start a meal. For small appetizers you can slice the baguette into rounds. We give instructions for preparing a larger, rustic sort of appetizer, allowing one per person. If you serve these as a main course for lunch, allow two per person. Imported olives make a nice accompaniment. Adapted from The Greens Book by Susan Belsinger and Carolyn Dille, Interweave Press, 1995.
Serves 4 or 8
1 pint cherry or pear shaped tomatoes, quartered lengthwise and halved crosswise
About 4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
About 3 tablespoons chopped chives, common or garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 long baguette or loaf of good-quality country-style bread
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 cup basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
½ cup crumbled feta cheese, optional
Combine the tomatoes in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, the minced garlic, and chives. Salt and pepper generously and toss well. If you are using the feta, scatter it over the tomatoes.
Meanwhile, slice the baguette or country bread into ½-inch slices and place them on a baking sheet. Toast them in a 400º F oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, turning them once. While the bread is toasting, add the basil to the tomatoes and toss well.
Remove the toast from the oven when it is crusty on both sides and firmly rub the cut sides with a clove of garlic. Brush the cut sides with the remaining olive oil.
Spoon the tomato and herb mixture evenly over the baguettes, and drizzle a little of the marinade juices over all. Serve immediately.
© Susan Belsinger