It’s summer in many parts of the world, Hong Kong’s temperature has definitely caught up to its peak after a long rainy season we have experienced. We are very lucky to have access to many fresh produce in this city and I would like to feature a simple yet, refreshing appetizer that I’ve always liked to include in many of my gatherings during the summer season where tomatoes are at its best. The are many ways to make a bruschetta like the one below but I have lowered the calories by not using any butter on the toasts and using fresh seasonal ingredients to maximize the taste of this dish. When I was in Italy, the Italians loved to rub any leftover garlic pieces on toast, which would give it that extra boost of aroma along with drizzling ample amounts of olive oil on. I have left out the greasing of the bread because there is still ~120 calories in a tablespoon of olive oil and we want to save those calories for other healthy dishes during the meal. Using whole wheat toast can add fiber to this already fiber-ful snack that allows you to have guilt-free pleasure while enjoying this bite of goodness. I know I always do!
Recipe: Bruschetta with Whole Wheat Toast, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil
Makes about 8-10 bite sized Bruschettas
150 g Cherry Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Tomato sauce
7 -10 Basil Leaves
1 Clove Garlic, rough chopped
1 Tbsp Lemon juice
½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
¼ tsp Salt
¼ tsp Pepper
1/2 tsp Agave Syrup
2 Slices Whole Wheat Bread
(You can skip steps 1 and 2 if the bruschetta is to be served within a few hours, the color of the basil should not be too affected for a short period of time).
1. Boil a small pot of water and have an ice bath ready next to it.
2. Place clean ~7 basil leaves in boiling water for 20-30 seconds then remove and place into ice water bath to stop cooking. This will keep the beautiful green color from turning black.
Save the extra leaves for garnishing.
3. Dice cherry tomatoes into a small dice and place in a mixing bowl with tomato sauce.
4. In a blender, place in the ~7 basil leaves, garlic, lemon juice, salt, pepper and agave.
5. Turn on blender to medium setting and slowly drizzle in extra virgin olive oil until combined and basil is chopped into small pieces. You do not want a paste, but simply a mixture where you can still see pieces of basil and garlic.
6. Pour mixture into bowl with diced tomatoes and tomato sauce and stir to combine.
7. Place bread into toaster and toast to golden brown and crispy. You can choose to rub any piece of leftover garlic over the top to provide extra aroma.
8. Cut each toast into small squares or triangles to your preference and spoon tomato mixture on top. Garnish with ripping the extra basil leaves and sprinkling it on top, then serve immediately.