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Simplicity, Thy Name is Bruschetta

Friends, it appears to be Tomato Week here at Chez Ginsu, so if you're not a love apple lover, I'd encourage you to stop back next week, when we'll see some tantalizing sweet stuff and a post on the tastiest yogurt I could find in these parts.

But for now, it's all about that juicy little god of the gardening world.

Tomatoes in the market bins

Truthfully, I'm so crazy about good, ripe tomatoes, I don't touch them for most of the year.

Late fall through early summer, I'll get by with cherry tomatoes, dried tomatoes and canned tomatoes. But when the lush, fresh, local tomatoes start rolling in, woo-hoo! Apologies to snow bunnies, but I feel tomato season really marks the most wonderful time of the year.

Time was, I used to believe that the open-faced, sliced tomato sandwich was probably the ultimate tomato-worship recipe (and no, biting into a tomato or just eating the slices doesn't count as a recipe).

Grilled ciabatta bread

But I did some rooftop garden-sitting for my boss last week, and now I've gone even more puritanical. No compound-ingredient spread necessary. Just grilled bread, olive oil and tomatoes. (Maybe salt, pepper and some fresh basil, if it happens to be on hand.)

This is the kind of recipe that's so simple, highest quality in each ingredient is key to success. Mealy tomatoes, off-flavored oil, gummy bread? Any flaw ruins the whole dish.

It's also the kind of recipe that seems to occur to just about anyone who has bread, olive oil and tomatoes on hand. In Spain, they might call it pa amb tomaquet
and in Italy, you might see it served as a bruschetta, but it's the same tasty idea. Go all crazy with this line of thought, and you'll soon find yourself eating pizza.

Grilled Tomato Bruschetta

Cherry tomatoes? Beefsteaks? Green zebras? Brandywines? Tomato type doesn't matter, as long as they're luscious.

The bread? I like a ciabatta or a baguette, but that's also negotiable. Just make sure it's good bread and the holes aren't too big.

Pick an olive oil you love (grassy, buttery, spicy... it's up to you), and while the grill's heating up for your entrée, throw down some generously brushed slices of bread.

Easy-peasy. Pour a glass of wine, munch a tomato-topped slice and offer a toast to simplicity.

Miss Ginsu

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8.26.2008

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