This is the perfect summer appetizer, especially when local tomatoes and backyard fresh basil are available. I substituted Campari tomatoes because it is still a little early for perfect local tomatoes. This version was loosely adapted from The Union Square Cafe Cookbook: 160 Favorite Recipes from New York’s Acclaimed Restaurant by Danny Meyer and Michael Romano.
- 8 Campari tomatoes, cored, seeded, and diced
- 1/2 cup (firmly packed) basil, washed, dried, & thinly sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved lengthwise, divided
- 4-5 T extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp coarse salt, or to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- French baguette, cut into 1-inch thick slices
- Combine the tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, olive oil, and half of the garlic.
- Stir well to combine and marinate at room temperature 1 to 2 hours.
- To serve: Grill or toast the bread until golden brown. While the toast is still warm, rub each piece on both sides with the reserved garlic halves. The garlic will melt into the bread and give it an intense flavor.
- Use a slotted spoon to heap a generous serving onto each garlic-rubbed toast, leaving the garlic cloves in the marinade.
- Serve immediately to prevent the bread from becoming soggy.
Note: The garlic cloves and leftover juices can be reused– chop the garlic and use as a delicious sauce for hot pasta.