Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Eating With Your Eyes

You know how people on the Food Network are always telling you eat with your eyes first and your mouth second? Or did I make that up?

Anyway, it's true as evidenced by my making something I saw in a movie. Come to think of it, this is the second dish I've pulled from a movie. The first being a bagel Mel Gibson mentions on the smash hit, "What Women Want."

I think everyone that saw "Julie and Julia" will agree that the bruschetta Julie makes at the beginning of the movie made all of our stomachs start to grumble - then by the end of the movie we were ready to fly to France and move into a tiny bistro kitchen and live under the fridge in the hope of getting scraps.

No need. I kind of improvised this recipe and it turned out delicious so here it is. Please, please, please make sure you're using the best and freshest ingredients you can get your hands on. This recipe is so basic that without the best summer tomatoes and real basil it's going to be just meh. Don't settle for meh-ness!

Multi-Colored Tomato Bruschetta
Serves 2 (as a side)

3 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
2 medium orange tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 medium red tomatoes, coarsely chopped
2 tblsp fresh basil, chopped
Kosher Salt (Texture and taste are better than table salt) and Pepper
1 small baguette, sliced in 1/2 inch pieces

1. In a small non-stick pan heat the olive oil on low heat. Add garlic and cook on low for about a minute, just to flavor the oil. Make sure the garlic does not burn in any way, shape or form.
2. In a medium bowl put in orange tomatoes, red tomatoes and basil. Add olive oil/garlic mixture. Toss gently to coat tomatoes then add basil and toss gently again. Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste. Cover and put mixture aside to let flavors develop.
3. Meanwhile, in the same pan that you used for olive oil, melt about a teaspoon of butter or a small slice of butter on medium high heat. Then place a few slices of bread in the butter side by side and cook until one side has browned slightly. Remember not to crowd the bread.
4. Repeat on other side of bread slices and repeat until all the bread has been toasted with butter.
5. Put tomatoes on bread and feel happy.

I really do hope this recipe delights you the way it delighted me. It's so simple, yet so satisfying and a good reminder that the best way to make a great meal is to start with incredible ingredients.

Fresh ingredients are not only delicious but all the better for you. The longer a vegetable sits in the grocery store the more nutrients it loses, not to mention flavor. If you can, shop at farmer's markets, join a CSA or even just try to buy what's local at your grocery store. Your taste buds, stomach and health will thank you.

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