Dan talked me through preparing this dish (while he grilled garlic rosemary lamb chops on his deck) when we stayed at his place in Amsterdam last weekend. It’s an extremely simplified version of bruschetta, designed to be served family-style, preferably with a half-dozen friends and a few good beers.
When we made this at his apartment, we didn’t use any garlic or balsamic — nothing to distract from the bread and tomato and basil — but feel free to smash up a clove or two with the olive oil before drizzling on the bread, or mixing in a few tablespoons of vinegar with the tomatoes.
1 baguette (or any other rustic loaf)
2-3 pints of cherry tomatoes
1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil
20-30 basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 cloves of garlic (optional)
balsamic vinegar to taste (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F.
Tear the baguette into bite-sized pieces with your hands and arrange in 1-2 layers in a casserole, baking pan, or sheet pan. If using garlic, smash cloves with a pinch or two of coarse salt until it forms a paste and mix with the olive oil. Drizzle the oil over the bread and pop in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty.
While the bread is in the oven, cut the cherry tomatoes into halves. In a large bowl, season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and leave to macerate for five minutes or so (you can also add the balsamic at this point, if using). When the tomatoes have begun to release their juices, lightly smash them with a potato masher to encourage more juiciness, but not to the point that the tomatoes lose their shape.
Remove bread from oven and pour tomato mixture, juices and all, evenly over the bread, so that bits of it get a little soggy from the tomato juices and bits stay golden and crunchy. Tear up basil leaves and sprinkle over everything. Eat; sigh.
Music to cook by: Everlasting Light [The Black Keys // Brothers]