Don't tell my friends, at least not the ones from last Saturday, but bruschetta has to be the easiest, least costly way to start an event that I know. Use whatever you have for toppings. That's hummus on the left – homemade from an Ina Garten recipe, but store bought is good too. You can even use stale bread (I didn't). Who would know once it's toasted?!
Two brilliant ideas from my stepdaughter upped the game. We steeped 1/2 a cup olive oil with a few rosemary sprigs and a couple garlic cloves for the bread. Then she toasted the slices on the grill. Good for croutons too!
Chopped tomatoes, basil, a drizzle of oil, salt & pepper
Olive oil for the pan, 3-4 chopped shallots, optional chopped garlic clove, sliced or chopped mushrooms, salt & pepper, shaved Parmesan & chives. Soften the shallots over medium heat first. Cook the mushrooms until liquid disappears. Assemble.
**note: I use cayenne instead of hot sauce and halve the recipe unless it's a big crowd of hummus eaters.
The secret ingredient for gooey tomato delicousness is butter. I'd heard that before but now I know for sure. You can use farmers market fresh tomatoes for this project, but my were sort of fit for a makeover. I also threw in 1/2 of an heirloom chunked up and left over from lunch rather than see it suffer in the fridge.
2 or more pints of tomatoes, larger ones cut in half
2 cloves garlic, minced
Smattering of basil leaves (or fresh thyme, or oregano)
A glug of white wine
Start with large pan over medium heat, coat with olive oil. Add tomatoes, seasoning with salt and a healthy 2 pinches of sugar. Roast until tomatoes start popping and softening. Stir in garlic till it smells good. Add enough wine to slosh around the pan. Reduce wine at least by half. Swirl in butter. Adjust salt and add basil. Done.
Scrape with with a spoon, throw in chopped black olives like kalamata, toss with pasta, think about cheese, dredge the pan with bread.
Double down on the recipe – No regrets!