Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bruschetta Ala Leah Recipe with Fresh Mozzarella Cheese

Since basil and tomato season is upon us, I share with you my bright and zesty version of bruschetta - which includes balsamic vinegar - made it this way for years and has always been loved by all - This is also great as a marinade or fresh pasta sauce (cold or hot) I make this for parties as it is always a big hit with the fresh melted mozzarella and fresh basil and garlic. Ciao Bella!


  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 12 or more leaves of fresh basil
  • 3 medium on the vine tomatoes or 4-5 plum tomatoes
  • 1 good teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 shakes of dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 good loaf of Italian bread, sliced thin
  • 1/2 pound or more of fresh mozzarella cheese (please use the fresh stuff, ok?)
  • 1 large cookie sheet
  • 1 med bowl to mix 'dressing in'
  • 1 potato masher

  1. This 'dressing' is one of those that is great to throw over pasta, marinate steaks and chicken in for the grill, etc. as it keeps for 2 weeks in a sealed container in the fridge. Let it come to room temperature before using.
  2. Also this 'dressing' gets stronger in its garlic flavor as the ingredients meld - so start with three garlic cloves or less if you want it less garlicky.
  3. Though I like to have my bruschetta bite me in my mozzarella if you know what I mean... ok here we go...enough of my yapping....
  4. Minced garlic and add to bowl, add salt, fresh cracked pepper, dried crushed red pepper and lemon juice.
  5. Pile rinsed fresh basil leaves upon each other and roll them up like a cigar. Slice (chiffonade) the basil then cut lengthwise once and throw into bowl.
  6. Take half of your tomatoes and slice up as small as possible. I do not mind the seeds or juices - in fact you want as much as the fresh tomato juices as you can.
  7. With potato masher, mash up your ingredients to 'pulverize' and mash your tomatoes and garlic with the basil. The added salt helps this process.
  8. Add vinegar and white sugar and stir.
  9. Add remaining tomatoes sliced as small as you can muster, add all seeds and juices to the mix.
  10. Slowly pour and add the olive oil, stirring all the while to create an emulsion as best as you can.
  11. Set aside - taste test if you like - yummers, yes?!
  12. I like to let my 'dressing' set out covered on the counter an hour at least before using so that the garlic really comes out. - If using as a marinade for later, simply seal and place into fridge until you are ready to use.
  13. ***Back to bruschetta - slice your Italian bread into 1/2 inch slices on the diagonal.
  14. Put slices onto cookie sheet and place in oven to brown on one side - say at 350 for 5 minutes - then flip bread and toast the other side till light brown.
  15. Slice fresh mozzarella and place slices onto toast - place back into oven and let melt for another 5 minutes just before it starts to bubble.
  16. Put toast with melted mozzarella onto serving plates or platter.
  17. Spoon 'dressing' on top over melted cheese and Perfecta Bruschetta ala Leah is served, ready to be gobbled up!

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