6 or 7 ripe plum tomatoes (about 1½ lbs.)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tsp.)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1½ tsp. balsamic vinegar
6 - 8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced or chopped
1 tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 baguette French bread or crusty Italian bread
¼ cup (60 ml.) olive oil
Prepare the tomatoes [Tip: tomatoes can be blanched, if desired, particularly if tomato skin is thick.] Otherwise, to prepare tomatoes, cut tomatoes into fourths, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds, then finely chop the remaining tomato sections into small pieces and place them in a medium bowl.
Add garlic, olive oil, vinegar. Then stir in thinly sliced basil, and add salt and pepper to the tomatoes.
Cover and let the mixture marinate in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 375º.
Slice the baguette or Italian bread thin, making half-inch thick slices.
Brush one side of each toasted slice with olive oil [Tip: Use a pastry brush, if available].
Place the olive oil-side down on an ungreased baking sheet.
Toast for 7 minutes. [Tip: For a crispier result, you can toast at 450º on the top rack for 5 - 6 minutes.]
Arrange the toasted bread on a platter, olive oil side facing up (it helps prevent the bread from getting soggy).
Either serve the toasts plain with a bowl of the bruschetta mixture on the side or if serving immediately, use a spoon to top each toasted slice with some of the mixture.