Classic Bruschetta

Classic Bruschetta served warm by Chef Debra

Adapted from Christine Ha’s Recipes from My Home Kitchen.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • Two Roma tomatoes
  • One-quarter red onion
  • Six fresh basil leaves plus more for garnish
  • Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • One and one-half tablespoons of butter
  • One French Baguette
  • One-half ounce grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Step 2: Cut 6 basil leaves into slices or small pieces and set more aside for garnish. See the Recipe Tip below

Recipe Tip: the 6 pieces of basil will be marinated for at least 30 minutes with other ingredients in an upcoming step. This will cause them to darken and lose their vibrant green color. Keeping some of the vibrant green basil pieces that will not be refrigerated will add to your stunning presentation.

Recipe Tips: Start with the basil and cheese grating because both the onion and the tomatoes will be a bit messier. Because basil leaves vary in size, keep in mind that the amount you produce will need to go onto 6 separate pieces of bread and cut enough for 6 garnishes. Use a small bowl and scissors to easily cut the basil into small pieces, keeping it contained in the bowl.

Step 3: Grate one-half ounce of fresh Parmesan and set aside.

Recipe Tips: Because the bread slices will vary in size, I suggest you grate 6 teaspoons of cheese to be sure you have enough for each slice. Always use a Cut Glove when grating foods to avoid injury.

TBK Tools: Mini Box Grater, Cut Glove, Dry Measure Spoons, Talking Scale.

Step 4: Cut one-fourth red onion into a small dice. Place in a medium bowl.

Recipe Tip: Onions and tomatoes vary in size so keep in mind the ratio of onions and tomatoes as you prepare them in the next steps and adjust as you see fit. After roughly chopping the onion, use the corral cutting method to safely and efficiently cut the onion into small pieces. See our post, Cutting Safety: The Corral Method.

Recipe Tip: Use a cutting surface that has slightly raised edges to contain small pieces of food as you cut.

Chef Debra demonstrates the Corral Method for cutting tomatoes into small pieces
Chef Debra uses a work tray to keep all of the tomato juices and small pieces contained.

TBK Tools: Work Trays, Bench Scraper

Step 5: Remove the stem and cut 2 Roma tomatoes into small pieces.

TBK Tool: Shark

Step 6: Strain the diced tomatoes to get rid of the seeds and excess juices and set aside in the bowl with the onion.

Recipe Tip: If the tomato and onion mixture is too wet, you will end up with soggy bread. Do not skip the straining step.

TBK Tool: Mesh Strainer

Step 7: Add 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil to the tomato and onions.

TBK Tools: Auto Measure Spout or Wet Measure Spoons, Pitcher and Funnel

Step 8: Add 4 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar to the tomato and onion mixture.

Step 9: Add six chopped basil leaves to the tomato and onion mixture.

Step 10: Gently mix the tomato mixture. Do not overmix or bruise the tomato or basil pieces.

Step 11: Season the mixture to taste with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Cover and refrigerate to allow the mixture to blend for at least 30 minutes.

Recipe Tips: Grinding fresh black pepper while making the recipe can be a pain. You need 2 clean hands and, without sight, knowing how much ground pepper you are producing with each turn of the pepper mill is difficult. I pregrind my black pepper and store it in an airtight jar to preserve the freshness. Then all I need to do is to insert the measuring spoon required into the jar of pepper or grab a pinch with my finger and thumb. TBK has the perfect size jar with an attached lid for this.

TBK Tool: Salt Celler

Step 12: Slice 6 three-quarter-inch thick slices of bread and set aside.

Recipe Tip: It is important to have the slices at least roughly the same thickness so they will toast in the oven at the same cooking rate. TBK recommends you use a Slicing Guide to accomplish this. If you use the Slicing Guide that is provided by TBK, put your knife blade in every third opening to achieve a three-quarter-inch slice.

TBK Tool: Slicing Guide

Step 13: Line a rimmed baking sheet that is large enough to hold the 6 pieces of bread with no overlap.

Step 14: Melt one and one-half tablespoons of butter

Recipe Tip: French baguettes come in different sizes and shapes. Melt enough butter so that you can spread a thin layer on both sides of each of the 6 slices of bread.

TBK Tool: Butter Slicer

Using a work tray to avoid messes and spooning tomatoes onto sliced and toasted bread
Chef Debra sets her bowl of tomatoes and onions on a Work Tray before spooning them onto the freshly toasted bread.

Recipe Tip: Spreading liquid ingredients onto bread can be tricky for cooks with vision loss. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe pie pan and then “dip” both sides of each piece of bread briefly in the melted butter to efficiently and cleanly do the next step.

Step 15: Thinly coat both sides of each piece of bread with melted butter and place on the prepared baking sheet.

Step 16: Bake for two to three minutes per side until golden brown. Turning once.

Recipe Tip: Knowing if the bread slices are “golden brown” is very visual. With experience, you will learn to smell when the bread is browning, much like toast in a toaster smells as it cooks. It is also fine to pull the pan out of the oven and touch the surface of the bread briefly to see if the softness of the bread has turned into a toastier product. I have also been known to use the Be My Eyes app (read our post Be My Eyes: human eyes on demand) to get human eyes on my bread to get another opinion. No shame in that!

TBK Tool: Double Spatula

Step 17: Divide the tomato mixture into six equal portions and put it on top of each slice.

Recipe Tip: Do this step while the bread slices are still on the rimmed baking sheet. This way any mixture that falls off the bread can be easily retrieved and returned to the bread. This will also make cleanup easier.

While touching the toasted bread, Chef Debra spoons the tomato mixture to make Bruschetta
While touching the toasted bread, Chef Debra spoons the tomato mixture onto the toast to make Bruschetta

Recipe Tip: Using a portioning tool to divide a mixture evenly among portions is very helpful for cooks with vision loss. Portion scoops come in many sizes. For this recipe, the one-ounce portion scoop provided by TBK would be an excellent tool.

TBK Tool: Portion Scoop

Step 18: Dust each piece with grated parmesan cheese.

Recipe Tip: If you allowed for one teaspoon per slice, use a teaspoon to evenly and confidently distribute the cheese between each serving.

Step 19: Garnish with the reserved basil if desired.

Step 20: Transfer to plates and serve

Recipe Tip: Only now should you remove the garnished bruschetta to a serving plate or plates. Hold each slice above the baking pan until any pieces of cheese, basil, or tomato and onion mixture have fallen off. The presentation on the serving dish or plate will be clean and impressive!

Enjoy!

Chef Debra holds a plate of classic bruschetta. She is wearing The Blind Kitchen apron.
Chef Debra holds a white plate filled with Classic Bruschetta. She is wearing one of The Blind Kitchen aprons.

Next steps

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