Sunday, April 29, 2007

Bruschetta - Real Garlic Bread

Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

For 6 slices of bread

This is the real deal, not some buttery bread, which would never be served at table in Italy. It's so good, you will find that you hardly ever make enough because people can't stop eating it. The amount here is for six slices of bread, which will probably disappear as fast as you serve them. I usually use bread I make from Jim Lahey's groundbreaking recipe for No-Knead Bread.

Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan

3 or 4 plump garlic cloves
6 slices good, thick-crusted bread, ½-inch thick
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt - For this recipe I use Maldon Sea Salt.
A few grindings of pepper

Cut the garlic cloves in half, crush them a little with your chef's knife, and peel them. Toast or grill the bread to a golden brown on both sides. While the bread is still hot, rub one side of each slice with the cut side of a half clove of garlic. Drizzle olive oil over the garlicky side of each slice of bread, and - if you are using Maldon - crush it with your fingers over each piece, then add a few grindings of black pepper. Serve while still warm.

The Tomato Version

All the ingredients given in the recipe above plus 6 ripe tomatoes
8 basil leaves

Wash the tomatoes, split them in half lengthwise. Remove as many seeds as you can easily using a pointy spoon or the tip of a knife. Put the halves upside down on a paper towel to drain the most watery of the juices, but only for a minute. Cut the tomatoes into ½-inch cubes.

Wash and dry the basil leaves, then cut them with your kitchen shears into small pieces.

After rubbing the hot grilled bread with garlic as directed in the recipe above, put some of the diced tomatoes on top, sprinkle with basil, salt, and pepper. Drizzle a little olive oil over each piece.

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