A popular, Italian appetizer that can easily be prepared within minutes.
- 2 1/2 c. (about 3 medium), vine-ripened tomatoes, diced small
- 1/2 c. red onion, diced very small
- 4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp. White or Red Balsamic Vinegar
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- 1 pkg. of fresh Basil Leaves, sliced Chiffonade style
- 1 1/2 tsp. dry oregano
- 1-2 garlic cloves, tops cut off
- A good quality wedge of parmesan cheese like Parmigiano Reggiano, curled or grated
- Toasted baguette/ciabatta or Endive Lettuce pieces
- In a medium size bowl, add diced tomatoes and onions.
- Add Olive Oil, vinegar and seasonings (except garlic) to the tomato mixture and toss gently.
- Remove the stems from the basil leaves and stack the leaves on top of one another. Roll the leaves tightly together, then slice the leaves perpendicular to the roll. This "Chiffonade" technique will create long, thin strips. Add these strips to the tomato mixture, toss gently.
- Take the cut garlic and rub the entire surface of each toasted bread.This can be done ahead of time and stored in a zip lock bag or air tight tin. If your using the Endive Lettuce, you can crush the garlic instead and add it to the tomato mixture.
- Take the cheese wedge and create curls using a vegetable peeler or alternatively, you can use grated cheese. Add the cheese as a final garnish topping.
- Once your prepared to serve, scoop approximately 2 tsp. of the tomato mixture onto each toast or Endive Lettuce. If this is done too far in advance, the toast will become soggy. Alternatively, you can serve the tomato mixture in a bowl and arrange the toast or Endive around the bowl on a platter.
* Ideally, tomatoes are kept at room temperature. If you'd like to make ahead, refrigerate the tomato mixture only, but take out ahead of time and allow to come to room temperature before serving.