Bruschetta Ala Leah Recipe with Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
Since basil and tomato season is upon us, I share with you my bright and zesty version of bruschetta – which includes balsamic vinegar – made it this way for years and has always been loved by all – This is also great as a marinade or fresh pasta sauce (cold or hot) I make this for parties as it is always a big hit with the fresh melted mozzarella and fresh basil and garlic. Ciao Bella!
- 1 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 12 or more leaves of fresh basil
- 3 medium on the vine tomatoes or 4-5 plum tomatoes
- 1 good teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
- 2 shakes of dried crushed red pepper flakes
- Juice of one lemon
- 3-5 garlic cloves
- 1-2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1 good loaf of Italian bread, sliced thin
- 1/2 pound or more of fresh mozzarella cheese (please use the fresh stuff, ok?)
- 1 large cookie sheet
- 1 med bowl to mix ‘dressing in’
- 1 potato masher
- This ‘dressing’ is one of those that is great to throw over pasta, marinate steaks and chicken in for the grill, etc. as it keeps for 2 weeks in a sealed container in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before using.
- Also this ‘dressing’ gets stronger in its garlic flavor as the ingredients meld – so start with three garlic cloves or less if you want it less garlicky.
- Though I like to have my bruschetta bite me in my mozzarella if you know what I mean… ok here we go…enough of my yapping….
- Minced garlic and add to bowl, add salt, fresh cracked pepper, dried crushed red pepper and lemon juice.
- Pile rinsed fresh basil leaves upon each other and roll them up like a cigar. Slice (chiffonade) the basil then cut lengthwise once and throw into bowl.
- Take half of your tomatoes and slice up as small as possible. I do not mind the seeds or juices – in fact you want as much as the fresh tomato juices as you can.
- With potato masher, mash up your ingredients to ‘pulverize’ and mash your tomatoes and garlic with the basil. The added salt helps this process.
- Add vinegar and white sugar and stir.
- Add remaining tomatoes sliced as small as you can muster, add all seeds and juices to the mix.
- Slowly pour and add the olive oil, stirring all the while to create an emulsion as best as you can.
- Set aside – taste test if you like – yummers, yes?!
- I like to let my ‘dressing’ set out covered on the counter an hour at least before using so that the garlic really comes out. – If using as a marinade for later, simply seal and place into fridge until you are ready to use.
- ***Back to bruschetta – slice your Italian bread into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal.
- Put slices onto cookie sheet and place in oven to brown on one side – say at 350 for 5 minutes – then flip bread and toast the other side till light brown.
- Slice fresh mozzarella and place slices onto toast – place back into oven and let melt for another 5 minutes just before it starts to bubble.
- Put toast with melted mozzarella onto serving plates or platter.
- Spoon ‘dressing’ on top over melted cheese and Perfecta Bruschetta ala Leah is served, ready to be gobbled up!