AUGH!! More cherry tomatoes? Okay next year please remind me that just because a volunteer cherry tomato plant starts growing does not mean you let it keep growing. I have a few cherry tomato volunteers this year and I didn't have the heart to yank them all. I let 2 grow. Flashback to now. I'm swimming in cherry tomatoes. Don't get me wrong, I love cherry tomatoes but they're coming in fast and furious!! Not to mention that this summer has been bad for me. It's been very busy and my garden has been mostly neglected. So next year, repeat after me, I will be frugal with the volunteer tomato plants that I allow to grow. There, I said it out loud. Hopefully I'll be able to stick to the plan!
So what to do when you've just picked this??
You make a delicious bowl of Balsamic Marinated Bruschetta for your tired, stressed out and over-worked nurse friends. They'll love it! Since I worked this weekend, I decided at 9pm that I would throw this together for the next day. It's super easy. The only time consuming part is slicing the tomatoes but no biggie right? The ingredients are ones you probably already have at home.
I was going to set it out at lunch time for the ICU nurses and staff but the morning started with a couple of new admits and staffing issues. All of the nurses had to step up and go above and beyond. It was a very stress full morning for everyone. I set out the bruschetta for the breakfast of champions. Luckily I did. They all appreciated it and loved it. I was asked by everyone for the recipe.
Balsamic Marinated Bruschetta
Makes: Enough for a unit full of ICU nurses, medical interns and physicians, respiratory therapists and anyone else who wanted some
3/4 - 1 c. good extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
3-4 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
2-3 cloves garlic, minced finely
20 leaves fresh basil, chiffonade
2 lb (I used more since I was using up my harvest) fresh tomatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 large baguette or 2 smaller ones, sliced
1) Make the marinade but adding the following ingredients to a bowl or large measuring cup: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper, dried thyme, and garlic. Mix well with a whisk. Set aside.
2) Add the cut tomatoes and basil to a large bowl. Pour the marinade over the tomato mixture and toss well. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours to allow the flavors to meld.
3) Serve with sliced bread and Parmesan cheese. I like to toast the bread and at the last few minutes sprinkle with Parmesan cheese until the cheese melts. I serve the toasts with the bruschetta.