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Author Notes: This is a quick and simple starter to whet a range of appetites any time of the year. As a dish served warm and fresh from the stovetop, it is most agreeable to the stomach and good for morale! —nlog2n
- 2-3 Smashed garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup Good-quality olive oil
- 6 pieces Fresh French baguette (sliced thick on the diagonal)
- 1-2 pints Fresh cherry tomatoes (halved)
- 1 bunch Fresh basil (torn or shredded into small pieces)
- 2 Green scallions (cleaned, trimmed and finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon Progresso Italian breadcrumbs (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt (more as needed)
- 1/2 teaspoon Granulated sugar (more as needed)
- 1/4 teaspoon Soy sauce (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon Red chili pepper flakes (optional)
- In a small bowl, soak the smashed garlic cloves in the olive oil for at least half an hour to infuse the olive oil with garlic flavor.
- Generously brush the baguette slices on both sides with the garlic-infused olive oil. The remaining garlic-infused oil will be used to sautée the bruschetta topping.
- Add some plain olive oil to cover the bottom of a large skillet with a very thin layer of oil. Heat on medium-high until quite hot. Toast the pre-oiled baguette slices (2 or 3 at a time) in the skillet, 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until the slices reach your desired amount of golden color. Remove from heat and keep warm on a platter until ready to top with the bruschetta topping.
- In a wok or sauté pan, heat the leftover garlic-infused olive oil on medium-high until fairly hot. Add the scallions and sauté briefly, just to release the aromatics into the oil. Add the halved cherry tomatoes, salt and sugar and sauté for 2-3 mins. If you want softer tomatoes and more sauce, cook a bit longer. You can also add in the optional soy sauce and/or red chili pepper flakes. Reduce heat to med-low.
- Add the breadcrumbs if you want to thicken the sauce a bit. Stir in the basil and continue cooking for about half minute to extract the flavor into the sauce. Taste and adjust with more salt and/or sugar as needed. I like to add sugar to savory foods, as the sugar rounds out the salty flavor and gives a dish more body.
- Top the toasts with the freshly sautéed topping for a show-stopping presentation and aromatic experience! Any excess juices left in the pan can be reserved for later use as a tasty sauce for noodles or rice or in a soup.