I love apps for dinner. Bruschetta is one of my fave quick apps to whip up. It’s easy to modify depending on your taste and what you have in the fridge + the one-bowl ease makes it so appealing after a long day. You can make it as simple or complex as you like and it’s always so satisfying.
I also decided to try a pretzel baguette for a twist on the traditional. This loaf was so ultra soft and fresh compared to the Italian loaf I just couldn’t resist. I was so pleased with the result, as the pretzel loaf slices get crispy on the outside but stay soft and delish on the inside – yum! Aged balsamic makes this extra special if you can swing this indulgence – this Olivier 25-year barrel-aged balsamic vinegar is my favorite.
- 1 pretzel baguette, 10-12″, sliced into 3/4″ – 1″ pieces
- 3 large tomatoes, diced [discard excess juice]
- 12 mini fresh mozzarella, diced
- Handful of fresh basil [about 1/4 cup] + a couple extra leaves for garnish, chopped or torn
- 1 – 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- sea salt, to taste
[Optional additions: fresh green olives, chick peas, diced Italian sausage. Optional toppings for presentation and extra goodness: pine nuts, shaved parm.]
Do it up!:
Preheat oven to 425°. Place sliced bread on baking sheet and set aside. Prepare the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and garlic, and add them to a large bowl along with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, pepper and salt. Gently mix all ingredients together until everything is covered with balsamic + olive oil. Let sit for 5 – 10 minutes to allow flavors to stew to ultimate deliciousness. While the mixture is sitting, add the baking sheet of bread to a high rack of the pre-heated oven and bake for 7-10 minutes until the top of the bread is a light golden brown.
Top the toasted bread with generous heaps of the mixture and top with extra pieces of basil. Eat right away while the bread is warm. Serve with Prosecco or a lovely Malbec. Enjoy!