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Bruschetta Originale

This truly Italian appetizer has many variations.  I like this one because it is simple and is preferred when you have real extra virgin olive oil and homegrown or at least fresh summer tomatoes.  There are no real measurements for this one – you just make as much as you want.

Ingredients:

Any of several Italian breads such as Ciabatta or a sourdough with a firm to hard crust and soft core

Extra virgin olive oil, preferably one that is on the fruity side

Two or three cloves of garlic cut lengthwise

Three, four or five tomatoes (this should be enough for four people depending on their size)

Two or three leaves of fresh basil

Preparation:

Chop the tomatoes and place in a strainer in the sink to remove excess juice then put in a medium bowl.  Finely chop the basil leaves and add to the tomatoes then add a little oil and mix.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Slice the bread into slices about the thickness of precut bread then cut the slices in halves if you are using a large loaf of bread.  This will not be necessary if you are using a smaller sourdough bread.  Lightly baste the bread with extra virgin olive oil and toast both sides either in the oven or on the grill.  Rub each slice lightly with the halved garlic then spoon on the tomatoe mixture.  Eat immediately.  This pairs nicely with an oaky chardonnay or chianti.

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