2cupsfully ripe tomatoes,seeded and finely chopped
1 - 2tablespoonextra-virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
olive oil for brushing bread slices
Prepare tomatoes and mix with basil, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside to allow flavours to blend for an hour or more.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Make the crostini. Slice the baguette in ½ inch slices. Brush both sides with a little olive oil and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven, turn the slices over and bake for another 5 minutes or until just slightly crispy. The crostini should still be soft on the inside.
Just before serving, top crostini slices with 2 heaping tablespoons of the bruschetta mixture. Garnish with additional basil, a sprinkle of coarse salt and a drizzle of olive oil, if desired. Serve immediately.
Alternatively, serve the bruschetta mix in a bowl and allow guests to make their own crostini. This option avoids possible soggy bread if the crostini sit too long.
* To chiffonade basil, stack the leaves, roll them into a tube and then slice into thin ribbons.