Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bruschetta Topping

This is another recipe from my favorite cookbook Williams-Sonoma Vegetarian. The only thing is I can't follow a recipe.

Oh sure, I've tried but I can't do it. Really, I can't (I'm stomping my feet right now).

Following a recipe seems to run contrary to my creative side. Tossing stuff willy nilly into a bowl is a lot more fun than following some dumb ole recipe. I can't even use this recipe in the way it was intended. It is supposed to be served on swanky slices of baguette. The picture in the book says so.

But No! Not me. I have to use it for a ton of other things. Yummy and wonderful things. That is why when I make it I double the recipe. Doubling recipes seems to be a habit of mine.

Of course, I raised 2 boys who brought all their ravenous and large friends over to the house. During the teenage years they went through my kitchen like a swarm of locust. All that was left was food wrappers and dirty dishes. My kitchen was a pitiful pile of cabinets and filthy floors. Then the squadron of boys would laze around the family room waiting until I came home to cook for them. Because they were hungry and there wasn't a thing to eat in the house. It was a sorry sight; let me tell you. Just plain sorry.

We could handle this a couple of different ways. I could give you the original recipe then walk through my way or I could run through how I make this then give you the original recipe or we could skip the original recipe then I could tell you how I did it today (today's concoction may be different then tomorrow's concoction. One really never knows when I get revved up in the kitchen). Let's just throw caution to the wind. Let's skip the recipe in the book. We're too creative and inventive to be bound within the confines of a recipe. Aren't we?
Plus, this is so easy it would be embarrassing to use a recipe.

Here we go:

Here's what we're going to toss into the pool.

Now squeeze the stuffing out of a whole bunch of tomatoes.

This is an important ingredient, garlic. Don't forget it. The dish just wouldn't taste right without it. I can't stress how important it is. Then again I put garlic in most everything so my stressing the point may be a tad biased. Someday I have got to realize that not everyone likes enormous amounts of garlic in their food. I'll try harder I promise.

Now this is not a normal ingredient but I happened to have about 3/4's of a red pepper hanging around so in it went into the pool.

Chop up about a cup of onion. Any ole onion will do. I like sweet red onions best. Once again I happened to have this on hand so in it went also.

Last but not least toss in a great big handful of basil. You can get fancy or just chop it up. Me, I just chop it up cause it tastes the same and I'm lazy. Stacking up all those basil leaves, then rolling them up, then slicing up the basil cigar. Way too much work. If I did all this then I'd have to wait to scoop up big spoonfuls and that just wouldn't be right.

Doesn't this look good. I could scoop up a big bite of this. See the spoon? That spoon was well used. No. Not because I stirred this mixture with it. I did that with my hands. Using your hands works best. It doesn't break up the tomatoes. We wouldn't want broken up tomatoes.
Chopped Yes.
Broken No.

Tomato Relish
All the measurements are approximate cause measuring doesn't work for me. Seems a little to calculated.

2 cups tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1 or 2 (or 3 or 4) cloves garlic, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped or fancy sliced

Toss lightly. Let it rest for a half hour or so.

What I like to do with this:
1. Yummy salad: add cubes of mozzarella cheese, balsamic vinegar. salt & pepper (I need some of this right now!)
2. Baked Potato Topping
3. Bean & Rice salad: add a cup of red beans and a cup of cooked rice, salt & pepper, and a splash of red wine vinegar (OK. I need some of this too).
4. Pizza topping which is what I did today.

This is what I made with the tomato compote. I call them French Bread Pizzas. I drizzled olive oil and toasted the bread on one side. Flipped them over. Spread them with a mixture of cream cheese and basil pesto (great sandwich spread by the way). Top with Tomato Relish and mozzarella cheese. Bake in 400* oven for about 15 minutes.

Just enough left over for breakfast tomorrow. I plan on topping these with a poached egg and a dab of the cream cheese mixture. I can't wait for morning. I plan to destroy the hour I spent at the gym today. Working out at the gym is highly overrated anyway.



P.S. Tomorrow will be another installment of 1930's college ramblings.


  1. This not only sounds delicious but very easy - I'm going to try it here one day soon. My Mousie resists tomatoes, but when disguised under melted cheese she may yet accept them.

  2. This is so good!

    Can you ever have too much garlic?? Yum!

  3. Yummmm! Thank you so MUCH!


  4. Oh wow! I NEED some of this!