The options with which mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and a baguette can be rearranged to create entirely new dishes is a lovely thing. After all, I don’t think there is a better combination for either a quick appetizer or salad in the afternoon or evening.
As a way to change up my original recipe of warm bruschetta with mozzarella, basil and tomato, I adapted a recipe I found in The Oregonian: FoodDay years ago while living in Nob Hill. With the addition of reduced balsamic vinegar, this tasty treat takes on a entirely different complexity of flavor. The sweetness that is added and the reversal of the ingredients (mozzarella placed on top of the tomatoes) is just enough change to impress your guests or a date.
Unfortunately, the handful of times I’ve made this dish, I absent-minded forgot to bring along my camera, but I’m making a promise to myself (and to you, my readers) that the next I make it, I will be diligent about snapping a few photos and placing them on the post. Trust me, if you enjoyed the above recipe mentioned, you will take to this one as well I have a feeling.
Keys Things To Keep In Mind
*Fresh mozzarella will make a world of difference in the flavor. If you’re buying a ball of this lovely simplistically rich cheese and it is in water, you know you’re on the right track.
*The reduction of balsamic vinegar is suggested to be the first thing you do, trust the recipe. It will take time to reduce it to a syrupy consistency, but it’s worth it.
*A variety of of different types of bread can be used. Use what you’d prefer to eat.
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 loaf of French baguette, cut into 1/2 inch slices on the bias
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- Kosher salt
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick
- 1 oz fresh basil, chopped (2/3 cup)
1. Add vinegar to a small saucepan and set over medium heat; reduce to 2 tablespoons (it should have the consistency of a light syrup. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 6 slices of bread on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and toast bread very lightly in the oven, about 3 to 4 minutes. (You just want to dry out the crust of the bread.) Remove and cool to room temperature. Place tomatoes on the bread, so as to cover all the way to the edges. Sprinkle tomatoes with a pinch of kosher salt. Place the mozzarella on the tomatoes. Bake until the cheese is melted to your liking.
3. Remove bruschetta from the oven and place on plates. Garnish with the basil and drizzle the reduced vinegar on top.
(recipe adapted from Brian Quinn from QuinnEssential Culinary Services as seen in The Oregonian)