Summer Lunch

Every once in a while, I share a favorite lunch idea here. And, when summer tomatoes become part of the scene, that means bruschetta. On a really busy day, I'll simply top toast with tomatoes and drizzle it with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. But if I have about 15 minutes or so, I'll make my favorite version of toasted bruschetta instead.

Having thinly sliced bread that gets pan-toasted and then topped with fresh tomatoes and sliced marinated buffalo mozzarella is downright decadent. Buffalo mozzarella is a soft cheese that is really lovely on its own, but becomes almost magical when marinated with fresh and dry herbs, garlic, and more. You can make your own or usually find it in your grocery store. When I have time, I have been known to make a new batch each week, but I'm also a fan of keeping a container of it from the market in the back of my fridge too. It's like bacon … you don't want to run out of the stuff!

One of the things I love most about this quick meal (or snack or appetizer) idea is that it's easy to start contemplating tweaks that might result in other meal ideas. For instance. If you had some chicken breasts pounded thin and grilled, you could put them between the bread and the tomato layers and easily make this into an amazing main course. Give it a nearly dessert-like feel by layering tomatoes and fresh nectarines and pairing the dish with a great dessert wine at the end of a meal. You get the idea. Now, imagine how many wonderful ideas would bubble up over a lovely lunch plate like this? What's stopping you?

Toasted Bruschetta

  • 4-6 thinly sliced pieces of sourdough bread
  • 1 T. butter
  • 1-2 ripe medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
  • 2-3 slices marinated buffalo mozzarella per slice of bread

Slather both sides of each slice of bread with butter. Heat a nonstick, oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat and place the slices of bread in the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes before flipping each slice of bread and cooking an additional 3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Layer tomato slices on the bread, making sure to mostly cover the top of the bread. Add enough slices of marinated buffalo mozzarella to each slice of bread to mostly cover the slices of tomato. You can use store-brought marinated buffalo mozzarella or make your own.

Place the skillet with the assembled bruschetta under the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and a little bubbly. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

  • Yields: 2-3 servings
  • Preparation Time: 12 minutes

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