RED Hearts are guest posts on I Heart Daily from the authors of RED: Teenage girls in America write on what fires up their lives today. This is the fifth in a RED Hearts series of spring-into-summer recipes -- things you can cook or bake, usually healthy things, always easy things (perfect summer spring rolls, anyone?) -- for the people you heart. Served up by Erika Kwee, 23, “the baker, photographer and typo-maker” behind vegetarian food blog The Pancake Princess.
To me, the epitome of summer is a sun-warm, supple-skinned tomato with a deep red hue that presages unparalleled earthy sweetness. On appetizer duty during a recent visit home, I plundered my family's garden, which was bulging with carefully tended cherry tomatoes and glossy basil leaves.
With tomatoes this ripe, this seasonal, it almost feels like a crime to do anything except showcase them in all their natural glory. Bruschetta is a no-cook dish that does just that.
The best kind of bruschetta is generally thrown together with a little bit of this and as much as you like of that. However, below are some basic proportions you can use as a guide to making it your own. I added a few ripe apricots we had on hand for an extra hit of sweetness and toothsome texture, but feel free to go total tomato for a classic bruschetta.
Also classic is that it’s served on slices of toasted baguette, but I used leftover bagels, sliced thin, toasted, and drizzled with olive oil for an easy, crunchy base. Or skip even the act of toasting and try your most delightful spread of summer on thin crackers.
Fresh Tomato-Apricot Bruschetta 4-6 medium tomatoes or 1½ cups cherry tomatoes 3-4 apricots or about 1/2 cup chopped 1/4 cup loosely-packed fresh basil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar salt and pepper a few slices of bread olive oil
Chop the tomatoes and apricots. Thinly slice the basil (reserving a few whole leaves for garnish). Toss tomatoes and apricots with the rest of the ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Toast the bread. Once golden-brown, drizzle with olive oil and slice into bite-size pieces. Top with bruschetta, garnish with reserved basil, and serve immediately.