Tomato and Basil Bruschetta was on everyone’s mind after seeing the movie Julie & Julia. I can still recall the scene when Julie’s husband bites into the bruschetta—instantly, we wanted fried bread layered with juicy tomatoes, basil, and Parmesan cheese. This follows much of Julia Child’s recipe, with a couple of minor changes of my own—the addition of Gouda cheese and more garlic.
**For a healthier version, this recipe can be made with Whole Wheat French Bread as shown in the pictures below. Cut the bread slightly thinner, it is more dense than regular white French bread.
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced 1" thick
- ¾ pound grape tomatoes, coarsely chopped
- ½ cup fresh basil, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons butter, softened
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil (1/4 to ⅓ cup)
- ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, shaved or grated[
- Mix tomatoes and basil, and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Mix garlic with butter.
- Heat olive oil in frying pan and fry bread until golden brown on both sides. Remove and drain on paper towel.
- Lightly spread some of the garlic butter on one side of the bread. Leftover garlic butter can be refrigerated for later use.Using a slotted spoon, drain the tomato-basil mixture of excess liquid and top each slice of bread. Salt and pepper, to taste. Top with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.
Serve Bruschetta as an appetizer or as a light lunch with a garden side salad.