Monday, August 5, 2013

Easy Recipe for Bruchetta, Pasta and Pizza.

Years ago, in an old, cozy restaurant in Cleveland's Little Italy my family was served this savory tomato, garlic basil dip with our bread instead of the traditional olive oil and balsamic for dipping.  We've all had this topping baked onto bread but never as a dip with fresh bread.  Since then Mom has perfected her own method that's in high demand at all our family events.

It is ridiculously easy to make and very customizable to your own taste.
Plus, it's vegan and healthy, so it's ideal to take to a potluck for everyone to enjoy.  And, it's so versatile:
A topping or dip for fresh, crusty bread
Toss with pasta and chill, or saute with pasta for a hot or cold dish perfect for Summer dining.

Make traditional bruchetta or pizzas: place bread or English muffins under  a low broiler  or toaster oven for 2 minutes or until desired tostieness, add toppings, broil for another 2-3 minutes .  Or, quick for the kids, toast English muffins in toaster, add topping or toppings, microwave 30 seconds.

Fresh tomatoes would work well, I'm guessing, but we've never had it that way.  It looks like I may have a bumper crop of Romas this year, so I'm going to try making this with fresh and then update this post.

Before you start, Mom wanted to make sure I gave a few tips:

This is flavor-packed with lots of garlic.  If you think it may be too strong to your liking, start out with half the garlic and herbs.  This has to marinate for at least a day, so you can always add more seasoning later, marinate again, then taste.

Re-purposed spaghetti sauce jars work well.  This recipe makes a little under 32 ounces.  Two 16oz jars should do it.


two 32oz cans of diced or petite diced tomatoes (tomatoes with Italian seasoning work great, but not necessary)

One full head of garlic, cloves peeled

2 cups fresh basil leaves

1/4 to 1/2 bunch parsley

1/2 bunch chives or scallions

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon salt

one heaping teaspoon dry oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon of fresh)

1 1/2 cups of olive oil, extra virgin

Strain tomatoes in colander (Mom saves and freezes the tomato juice for future use in soups and sauces - no wonder they taste so good)

Put peeled garlic cloves and herbs in a food processor to chop

Add to tomatoes and add remaining ingredients.  Stir until combined.

Top off jar with extra olive oil.  Let stand at room temperature overnight.  Refridgerate afterwards.
As you may know, olive oil solidifies when chilled.  Be sure to restore it to room temperature before serving.