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Last Updated Monday December 05 2016 10:01 AM IST

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

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Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Italian cuisine is renowned and extremely popular worldwide. So get set for a culinary roller coaster ride with some exhilarating Italian recipes.

“Pizza + pasta = Italian cuisine,” is indeed a common misconception. They are simply two of the main items in the main course of a meal, similar to our rice and chapatis. There’s so much more to Italian cuisine – lasagne, Bolognese sauce, risotto ... the list is endless. All the dishes are cooked in the most heartfriendly oil olive oil!

Another popular ingredient in Italian cuisine is Balsamic vinegar. While Indians prefer to keep salt and pepper shakers handy during a meal, the Italians need to have olive oil and balsamic vinegar on every meal table.

From salads to desserts, almost 90% of the dishes will have some grated cheese used as a garnish, just before serving. There are many varieties of cheese used for this purpose like Parmesan and Mozzarella, to name a few.

Whatever be the main course, every meal must end on a sweet note. Tiramisu is an internationally popular dessert. Read on to find out how some of the dishes from the delightful Italian cuisine can easily be recreated in your own kitchen. And to top it all, t’s tasty and healthy too.

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Italian Bruschetta (pronounced “brusketta”) is the perfect way to combine the fresh flavours of ripe tomatoes, basil and garlic. Sure to be enjoyed by the whole family!

Ingredients

6 or 7 plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, mashed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar
7 or 8 basil leaves(Rama tulsi leaves)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper as required
1 loaf of French bread or Italian bread
¼ cup olive oil

Preparation

Boil water, remove the vessel from the flame and add the plum tomatoes into it at once. Drain the water out after a minute.
Cut each tomato into four quarters and discard the seeds and pulp from within.
Preheat the oven to 450°F.
Finely chop the tomatoes and place them in a bowl. Add the mashed garlic, extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic vinegar to it and mix well.
To this, add the basil leaves, salt and pepper powder, mix it well and keep aside.
Place the Italian bread slanting sideways, and slice into ½ inch thick pieces. Apply olive oil on one side of each slice of bread.
Place these bread slices with the olive oil side facing down on a cooking sheet.
Next, place these slices on the upper rack in the oven and toast for five minutes, till the bread turns golden brown.
Alternatively, after applying olive oil on one side, the bread slices can be toasted on a tawa, till it becomes crispy golden brown.
Draw three slits on each slice of bread using a sharp knife. Into this, apply garlic followed by another half tsp of olive oil.
Next, arrange the olive oil coated bread slices, on a tray and place a little of the tomato mixture over each slice, just before serving.
As an alternative, the tomato mixture may also be served separately in a bowl along with the bread slices and added as preferred.

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