Ok, so some may say that making bruschetta without basil and balsamic vinegar is sacrilegious, but trust me, in a pinch, this recipe is absolutely delicious and almost too easy. Just so as not to offend the traditionalists, we’ll call this “T.O.G.O. (tomato, onion, garlic, olive oil) Crostini.” It was a real crowd-pleaser at Dave’s birthday. Even the birthday boy himself, who usually won’t get near a tomato, loved it.
3 good sized beefsteak tomatoes
1 medium yellow onion
3 medium cloves of garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
ground pepper and salt to taste
1 crusty french baguette, cut into slices about 3/4 inch thick
shredded parmesan, asiago or any other hard italian cheese
First, chop your tomatoes and mince the onion and garlic. I remove all the gooey, seedy insides because I like crisp, crusty bread and meaty chunks of tomato. Too much gunk and you’ve got soggy bread and mushy topping. Mix together in a bowl with your extra virgin olive oil.
When I use olive oil in “raw” recipes (where the olive oil won’t actually be cooked) I always use a good-quality extra virgin because the flavor is much better. I got the bottle on the left at a deep discount in the gourmet food section at TJ Maxx. Yes, TJ Maxx has a gourmet food section. Shhh, don’t tell.
Set your T.O.G.O. topping aside (you can refrigerate it for later use, if you’d like). Right before you are going to serve the crostini, toast your bread slices on a sheet pan under the broiler until slightly toasted (I think the crostini taste better when the bread is crunchy on the outside, but still has a chewy, moist center).
Place a dollop 0f the topping on each crostini right out of the oven and sprinkle with grated cheese.
Mmmm. Gotta love the contrast between the hot, chewy, flaky bread and the cool, tender, bursting-with-flavor topping. Semplicemente deliziosa.