I'm not sure how it happened... All of a sudden I realized our fridge was swimming in tomatoes. I think, between several tomato specials, a fuzzy memory, and too many trips to the grocery store in one week, I had bought a few pounds of tomatoes in different varieties! (Oh my gosh, someone get me some ginkgo biloba.) And they were all in jeopardy of going bad if I didn't use them fast. I thought about doing a tomato sauce but the thought of pureeing the beautiful, sweet yellow tomatoes I had so carefully chosen made me sad. So I went to this Classic Italian appetizer and dressed it up with some Feta, a balsamic glaze, and a tiny drizzle of truffle oil.
2-4 servings here:
-6 slices of crusty bread (I had large, thick-cut slices of sourdough so I actually just used 3 slices, cut on the diagonal to make 6 triangle pieces)
-1 1/2 cups tomatoes, seeded and diced (I've read plum are the best since they have fewer seeds and more flesh, but I had an abundance of regular beefsteak and sweet yellow grape tomatoes so that's what I used)
-2 tbs. fresh chopped basil
-2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
-Extra Virgin olive oil
-1 tbs. white wine vinegar
-1/2 cup Feta cheese, crumbled
-Salt & pepper, to taste
-1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
-2 tsp. sugar
-White truffle oil (optional)
1. Start by getting by heating your Balsamic vinegar and sugar in a sauce pan on medium heat. Stir occasionally until liquid is reduced to a syrup, about 15-20 minutes.
2. Place bread slices on sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil over them and bake in a 400°F oven, until bread is brown and toasty, about 7-10 minutes. I would suggest putting the bread on the rack closest to the top, and keeping an eye on it, particularly after the 5-minute mark, to make sure it's not getting over-browned.
3. In a pan, warm some olive oil on medium heat and add your minced garlic. Cook for a minute or two before adding the diced tomatoes. Cook those for about a minute. I strive to just warm the tomatoes, not cook them down to mush!
4. Remove pan from heat and add salt and pepper, white wine vinegar and another drizzle of olive oil. Then mix in feta crumbles and chopped basil.
5. Pile some of the tomato-feta mixture on each toast slice. Using a spoon or a clean squeeze bottle, drizzle the Balsamic reduction over the top. I finished each toast with a tiny drizzle of white truffle oil. That last part is optional, but I found it added a nice earthy flavor to the dish!