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There’s a thick blanket of snow outside but I’ve been in the mood for something fresh and summery lately. Do you sometimes just pretend it’s summer when it’s winter? I do that a lot. So I made these bruschetta and while they are a summer food they are of course tasty year-round. What makes them extra basil-y is the fact that I brushed the baguette slices liberally with basil-infused olive oil on both sides before putting the tomato and fresh basil topping on. That not only adds additional basil flavor but also helps the baguette bake up really crispy and juicy (nothing worse than dry bruschetta). As a matter of fact, if you’re out of tomatoes the baked, basil oil baguette slices are mighty good by themselves.
- 1 cup fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 demi baguette, sliced
- ~ 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
- 5 large basil leaves, chopped
- Puree basil and olive oil in a food processor until smooth.
- Pour the mix into a saucepan and heat on high for 1 minute.
- Strain through a sieve, then let the oil cool. (You can mix a garlic clove and a bit of salt into the basil puree you have in the strainer and spread it on a piece of toast for a quick snack).
- Heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Brush each baguette slice liberally with the basil oil on both sides, then set on a baking sheet.
- Top each slice with tomato and chopped basil.
- Drizzle a bit of basil oil over the tomatoes, then sprinkle with a bit of salt and bake until the bread turns golden brown and the basil starts to wilt.
Food Photography and Styling: I played around with different color combinations in this photo and finally settled on the brown tones and the glass of red wine (actually sparkling cider that we still had open in the fridge). The background is a piece of faux suede fabric that I had so far only ever used as a surface (it’s the fabric under the apple tart in this photo) and I really liked its texture as a background so I’ll probably use it more often in the future. And, yes, I used my strobe to light the set. You knew that, right? :)
Nikon D600, 105mm, f/5.6, 1/125 sec., ISO 125. One Hensel Integra Pro Plus 500 Monolight.