For yourself or for a party, this simple display is one of my all time favorites. It uses the best of ingredients in the whole history of food: Cheese, bread, garlic, basil, tomatoes, olive oil and salt.
- Sliced baugette, lightly toasted
- 1 lb. grape tomatoes, quartered and divided
- 1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling
- 4 cloves of garlic, divided
- 1/2 cup cheese of choice: fontinella, asiago, parmsesan, or manchego, shredded and divided
- Fresh basil, chopped chiffinade style or leave whole
- Balsamic vinegar
- salt & freshly ground pepper
- Heat oven to 350 degrees and lightly toast baguette.
- While it is still hot, using 2 cloves of fresh garlic, rub garlic onto bread. Set aside to a serving platter.
- Chop remaining 2 cloves of garlic.
- On medium heat, in a small saute pan heat 1/4 cup olive oil and choped garlic. Saute about 20 seconds and add 1/2 of the tomatoes, a sprinkle of cheese, salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
- Drizzle toasted bread with olive oil & drops of balsamic vinegar.
- Top with remaining tomatoes, cheese and basil leaves.
- Sprinkle with more salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Garnish platter with warm oil and tomato mixture.