It should be a crime to waste tomatoes during their peak season – so if you find yourself in possession of fresh tomatoes nearing overripe-ness, promise me you’ll do something about it. I know this recipe calls for heirloom tomatoes but really any decent variety will work, as long as they are fresh and ripe. You could also substitute burrata for the mozzarella (equally delicious), and add any of your favorite herbs other than oregano, like chives or basil. This recipe is quick and forgiving, just make sure the bread gets crispy enough so you can really rub in those garlic cloves! Cut the loaf into small bites for a party snack or appetizer, larger wedges as a side dish, or eat bite after bite until full, as I did (on more than one occasion) in the name of “recipe testing while pregnant.” [Note: I published this in 2019, this is not a pregnancy announcement] 🙂
BRUSCHETTA WITH HEIRLOOM TOMATO, MOZZARELLA, AND HERBS
adapted from a recipe found in the cookbook Little and Friday Every Meal, by Kim Evans and Sophie Beck
serves 8 on average, if ciabatta halves are cut into quarters
1 large loaf fresh ciabatta
2 cloves garlic, whole
3 large, good quality heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
3 ounces good quality extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus extra for brushing on bread
12-16 ounces fresh mozzarella
fresh oregano leaves
flaky salt (like Maldon)
freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Slice the ciabatta in half lengthwise and place on a baking tray. Lightly brush the surface with olive oil and bake for roughly 15 minutes, or until it starts crisp and turn light golden. Don’t be afraid of drying out the bread, you want it to be crispy. Let the bread cool for a few minutes, then rub each half of bread evenly with one garlic clove, until the clove completely rubs into the bread.
Spread out the tomato slices onto each half of bread, gently pushing them down into the loaf a little. Sprinkle the champagne vinegar evenly over both halves of bread. Using approximately half of the 3 ounces of olive oil, drizzle this over all the tomatoes as well.
Rip apart the mozzarella and sprinkle the pieces over the tomatoes. Garnish with oregano leaves and drizzle the remaining olive oil over the top. Season generously with flaky salt and freshly ground pepper.
Cut the ciabatta into individual slices and serve immediately.