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Tomato-Basil Crostini

A few classic ingredients come together to sing the praises of summer abundance. This recipe was originally developed for our Slice, Dice & Chop knife skills cooking class, and was also featured in our Mostly Plants series.

Ingredients

A plate of Tomato-Basil Crostini, ready to party

A plate of Tomato-Basil Crostini, ready to party

3 medium tomatoes, diced to about 1/4 inch, seeds and juicy pulp removed (about 2 cups diced)

2 medium cloves garlic, minced; plus one large clove of garlic, peeled and left whole

About 1/3 cup of olive oil

1 Tablespoon chopped parsley

1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar

Salt to taste

1 French baguette

1 bunch basil

A hunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

 

Instructions

1.  Combine the tomatoes, minced garlic, 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, the parsley and the vinegar in a bowl.  Stir in a couple of pinches of salt.  Allow the mixture to sit while you prepare the crostini.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the rack in the middle position.  Slice the baguette diagonally into about 15-20 rounds about 1/2-inch thick each. You may not use the whole baguette, depending on how long it was to start with.  

3. Lay the rounds in one layer on a rimmed baking sheet and put them in the oven for about 5 minutes, until they are lightly toasted.  Flip them over to the other side and continue toasting them until they are lightly toasted on the second side, about 3 more minutes.  While the slices are toasting, have the rest of the olive oil and a pastry brush ready nearby for when they come out.

4. When the crostini are lightly toasted, remove them from the oven and quickly brush them each with olive oil while they are still soft and warm. Lightly rub all the crostini with the remaining garlic clove.

5. Taste the tomato mixture and add a bit more salt if needed (it should taste deliciously tomato-ey, but not salty).

6. Arrange the crostini on a serving platter and lay one medium or two smallish basil leaves on each one. Carefully spoon a mound of tomatoes onto each crostini, covering the basil leaves.

7. Use a vegetable peeler to shave long pieces of the cheese, distribute the cheese shavings onto the crostini and serve.