Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bruschetta with Pesto

Where I'm from (New York City), Italian bread comes in a long, skinny loaf like a French baguette. When I moved to MA, I found that the local Italian bread is a short, fat loaf that you can't really slice into small appetizer-size pieces, which is why I tend to use a French baguette for this particular dish.

I promise the appetizer will disappear very quickly, so be sure to make plenty. Or serve it as a side dish like I do when I'm grilling steak.

1 long crusty loaf of bread (French baguette or Italian bread)
4 ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and diced
1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
6 ounces buffalo mozzarella, diced
10-15 basil leaves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
1/4 cup pesto
fresh Parmigiano Reggiano to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice bread on the diagonal, making about 30 slices, each about 1/2" thick (quantity based on a loaf about 2' long). Lay slices on a baking sheet and bake until crispy.

While the bread is in the oven, toss the tomatoes, onion, mozzarella, basil and olive oil in a bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Spread about 1/2 teaspoon of pesto on each slice of bread. Top each with a about 2 tablespoons of tomato mixture and thin sliver of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.

about 30 slices (depends on length of bread loaf).