In 2011, my family took a trip to Italy. We visited a beautiful vineyard in the heart of Tuscany. Delicious food was basically the highlight.
If you’ve followed my story, then you know that my history with disordered eating set the stage for all that I do today at To The Pointe Nutrition. I work with dancers to help them build sustainable lifestyle habits. To balance performance nutrition with intuitive nutrition in order to cultivate a non-diet approach for a healthy relationship with food and the body.
But back in 2011, I was still sorting through my own restrictive eating habits. I was studying to become a dietitian and simultaneously navigating the unrealistic body pressures of the dance world. It was on this trip, however, that I learned the importance of food in not just our performance, but also in our livelihood. This is when I began to look beyond the role of food for performance.
Okay, enough storytelling. Serious question: do you call it bru-SHETTA or bru-SKETTA? I still cannot decide. Either way, I’ve been making this recipe for my family since that trip and now I’m sharing it with you. The best part about this recipe is that so many different elements come together beautifully: the tang from ripe summer tomatoes, the crunch from the rustic baguette, the spice from fresh garlic, and of course, the aromatic but subtle hint of sweetness from fresh basil. There are a few secrets that I’ve learned since, which sets this recipe apart from your standard bruschetta. If you make this recipe, please let me know!
Note: This recipe makes 4-6 servings, but I tend the avoid suggested serving sizes. Whether this is a snack or a meal, the amount you need to feel satisfied with depends on many personal factors. I chat more about this topic in this article.
- 7-10 ripe vineyard tomatoes, washed (Roma tomatoes or tomatoes straight from the vine are best with this recipe!)
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, separated into two servings
- 8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Sea salt to taste
- 1 loaf fresh rustic sourdough, sliced at a 1/4-inch thickness
- Optional: fresh mozzarella
- Secret Step #1: Blanch and peel the tomatoes. This is my biggest not-so-secret… secret! Blanching your tomatoes allows for an easier peel. Also, removing the skins create a richer and tangier flavor (not to mention a more spreadable bruschetta!) To blanch, boil about 2 quarts of water. As the water heats, Mark each tomato with a sliced “X” (this makes peeling even easier). Once the water is boiling, turn your burner to “OFF” and carefully drip your tomatoes into the water. Let sit for 1-2 minutes or until peels begin to visibly separate. Carefully remove each tomato from the pot and let sit to cool. Slice each in halves and quarters, remove the seeds and excess juice.
- Secret Step #2: Prep Your Bread: Toasting your bread turns this meal from incredible to “OMG I NEED MORE!” Preheat oven to 450°F. Evenly place bread slices across a lined baking sheet. Brush each slice with a thin coat of extra virgin olive oil. Let toast for 5-10 minutes or until golden brown (not burnt!)
- Combine your ingredients. Finely chop your tomatoes (most of the seeds should be removed and disgraded). Place them in a medium bowl and mix garlic, 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, and chopped basil. Add salt to taste.
- Top Your Toast! Once toasts are cooled and ready, top each with about a 1/4 cup of bruschetta mixture. Spread evenly.
- Serve and enjoy!
- Optional: sprinkle fresh mozzarella atop your completed bruschetta for a boost. in protein. I tend to add this when having bruschetta as a meal.