I have always had a bit of crush on bruschetta. When done right, it can be such a refreshing appetizer. When done wrong, aka drowned in oil, you may as well just order a plate of french fries.

We had some guests over earlier this week and I found a really simple recipe that just called for tomatoes mixed with salt and pepper. In a last minute decision, I decided to add some cucumber and green onion to the mix. It was amazing. When we got our CSA last night, I couldn’t resist making another batch just using the cucumbers and tomatoes.

Poor Man’s Bruschetta

2 tomatoes, diced

1 cucumber, seeded and diced

Salt & pepper

Olive oil

Fresh basil, optional

Mozzarella and/or goat cheese, optional

Crusty bread, sliced and toasted or grilled

  1. Mix the tomatoes and cucumbers together.
  2. Add salt and pepper. A little goes a long way here.  Start with a sprinkle, stir, taste, and add more if needed. I usually just do a meager sprinkle because I want to make sure the taste of the produce is not overwhelmed with the salt.
  3. After the bread has been toasted or grilled. Drizzle or brush olive oil on the bread.
  4. Top with tomato and cucumber mixture.

  5. If you have fresh basil handy, then top with torn fresh basil.
  6. If you can’t resist an opportunity for cheese (like me), add shredded mozzarella and/or goat cheese. Put back in toaster over, on grill or in oven to toast/grill/broil until cheese is melted.

Recipe Notes:

  • If you are grilling the bread, beware! It grills very quickly. When we had  our guests over, a very timid Manatee poked his head to ask if we had more bread. I came outside to find a dozen hockey pucks on the grill. Oops. Put the grill on medium heat and don’t take your eyes off the bread.
  • If you like a little garlic in your bruschetta, take a peeled clove and cut it in half. After the bread has been toasted, rub the cut half of the garlic on the bread. This will give you the garlic flavor without the raw garlic heartburn.
  • For me, basil is optional. The bruschetta was just as good without it so don’t stress if you don’t have fresh basil.
  • You can also add green onions to the mixture. I just used the green part and it gave the mixture a little more depth. The only reason I didn’t use it for the second batch is that I didn’t have any left.
  • Be careful when drizzling the oil. I have a tendency to just pour the oil which is why I suggested that you can also brush on oil.
  • The tomato mixture keeps well in the fridge. From here on out, I think you will always find a container of it in our fridge.

    It’s great as a quick appetizer but it’s also good on salads, tacos, sandwiches, you name it.


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