Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grilled Tomato-Basil Bread

The hubby and I like to have this when we say we want a "light" dinner, but really it's just sheer indulgence.

I think it qualifies as an appetizer, but the hubby and I make it a small dinner. We used to make this all the time in Oregon. We'd sit out on our patio in Beaverton, enjoying the warm air that only lasts like 60 days out of the year, and drink fresh watermelon martinis. Good times :)

It's totally a summer dish as all ingredients need to be fresh and they need to taste good! There's only a few ingredients in the tomato salad that are only held together by olive oil, so individual flavors have to shine through.

You're going to need pine nuts. Lots of pine nuts. Toasting them brings out the best flavor. I like to coat a small saucepan with cooking spray, heat over medium heat, and then add the pine nuts. Stir constantly for about a minute, until pine nuts are brown. When I say constantly, I mean constantly. Pine nuts can go from toasted to ruined in the blink of an eye.

You're also going to need fresh tomatoes. Taste a chunk and make sure it's a tasty tomato. Tomato is the main component of this salad, and you want it to taste good.

Dice it up small, since the salad tops slices of grilled bread. You want it to fit :)

Fresh basil. One of my favorite scents. The hubby and I have been buying small basil plants at the grocery store and harvesting them. We don't have anywhere to grow it unfortunately, plus we are moving in a month! Buying these small plants is fresher and cheaper than buying packaged basil. At least this is true here in Kentucky.

Add some chopped basil to the tomatoes, along with the pine nuts. Drizzle the salad with a little olive oil and a few pinch-fuls of sea salt.

Toss to combine. Taste the gloriousness. Once seasoned properly, set in the fridge to chill for about 30 minutes.

One of the best parts of this dish, Brie. Brie makes my heart sing :) The baguette gets sliced, and the slices placed on the grill for just a moment. Just enough to heat them up.

Load up your plate with grilled bread, a chunk of Brie, and the tomato salad. The hubby and I like to spread Brie on the bread, and then top the bread with the tomato salad. I also like to just eat the cheese on the bread, and then eat the salad on the side.

Either way, it all adds up to fabulousness. Yum :)

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 lb tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/4 cup basil, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 loaf French Baguette
8 oz Brie, room temperature

1. Combine pine nuts through basil in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, add sea salt. Toss to combine. Place in fridge for 30 minutes.
2. Slice French Baguette. Place on a pre-heated grill over medium-high heat, 1-2 minutes on each side. Remove from heat.
3. Divide bread and Brie among individual plates. Serve with tomato salad.

Tomato Salad adapted from Cooking Light

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