Bruschetta with Garlic Crostini

Here’s an easy appetizer that’s great for cocktail parties and other gatherings. Tomato, basil, and garlic are such a classic combination, add the Romano cheese and olive oil and you have a match made in heaven.

Bruschetta with Garlic Crostini

Serves 10-12

1/2 stick of butter (4 tablespoons)

10 garlic cloves, pressed, divided

1 french baguette with a good crunchy crust (thinly sliced)

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained

4 vine ripe vine tomatoes (about 2 cups), diced and drained

1/4 onion (about 1/2 cup), minced

4 tablespoons basil, chiffonade

1/4 cup olive oil

1/4 cup fresh Romano, grated

2 tablespoons dried oregano

salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat your oven to 350.  In a small saucepan over medium-low heat melt your butter and 6 cloves of pressed garlic.  Lay out your baguette slices on two baking sheets.  Using a pastry brush, spread the garlic butter over the slices, using just enough to coat the tops.  Bake crostini for 6-8 minutes (or until golden brown and the fragrant smell of garlic-butter permeates your kitchen).  Reserve the slices and turn off your oven.

In a large bowl combine your can of diced tomatoes, vine tomatoes, remaining crushed garlic cloves, onion, and basil.  Stir to combine.  Add olive oil slowly, stirring to adjust consistency.  Next add Romano cheese and dried basil.  Season to taste (salt after you have tasted with cheese since Romano is known to be salty).

Plate bruschetta in a medium serving bowl and decorate with a ring of garlic crostini.  Or if you want a passed dish, spoon bruschetta mixture over several crostini, arrange with a sprig of fresh basil and pass around.  Enjoy!

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