Tricolored Heirloom Tomato Toasts

Call this a multicolored bruschetta if you like, but whatever you call it, is there a more perfect snack than this? Does anyone not like it?

This recipe avoids the common pitfalls usually encountered in making this dish, since I include the steps that many a cook leaves out: making sure the bread is toasted enough, rubbing it with garlic, and letting the tomato mix sit long enough for the flavors to come together (but not so long that the garlic becomes stale).

I say “beefsteak” here meaning just the large, meaty tomatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1 red heirloom beefsteak tomato
  • 1 yellow heirloom beefsteak tomato
  • 1 green (but ripe) heirloom beefsteak tomato
  • 1 tablespoon freshly chopped garlic
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground coarse black pepper
  • 12 slices (¼ inch thick) firm white bread
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled, cut in half

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare and chop the tomatoes in -inch dice.

Put the tomatoes in a nonreactive bowl with half the salt and all the other ingredients. Let the mixture sit for 30 minutes.

Brush the bread slices with the olive oil, and bake in a 400-degree oven, until firm throughout, about 10 minutes. Take them out and rub them generously with the garlic clove on one side. Sprinkle with the remaining sea salt.

Spoon the tomato mixture over the bread and serve.

Variations

Go wild. Add fresh herbs and lemon zest, bake the bread with cardamom on it, garnish the tomatoes with chopped chive flowers or orange blossoms. Or pour the tomato mixture over the anchovy toasts. Crescenza cheese (see Resources) spread on the toasts before adding the tomatoes takes this simple dish to a new, sublime level.

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