I’ve been steeped in bread over here, as well as in Italian poetry. The cosmic collision of the two, along with an overage of tomatoes in the refrigerator, resulted in an epiphany: I could be making bruschetta.
Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe
20 (1/2-inch) slices French or Italian bread
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 medium tomatoes, seeded and small diced
2 tablespoons basil chiffonade, plus more for garnishing (I did no such chiffonading, much to my chagrin because I love the verb, as I had no fresh basil on account of the Earth still being frozen here–I sprinkled dry basil instead)
1 lemon, vested
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 anchovy fillets, minced (I, of course, did not put these in)
Grated Parmesan, optional
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the slices of French bread (I used the wheat bran bread I made a few days ago) on a baking sheet and lightly brush with half of the olive oil. Season with half of the salt and half of the pepper. Bake until lightly golden and crispy, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
While the toasts are baking combine the remaining ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and stir to blend.
Serve each toast with a heaping tablespoon of the tomato mixture and garnish with additional basil and grated Parmesan, if desired.
Earth Day. I imagine bruschetta would be an appropriate Earth Day appetizer for those still doggedly espousing the Flat Earth model. You could float the little heaped bruschettas in an infinity pool, little discs of land in the ocean, and discuss theories of what gods or giant snakes wait at the waterfall edges of the world. Or, if you are a believer in spheres, as our sphere tilts toward the grace of the sun for a season, you could make these and lie on a blanket in the center of your lawn, enjoying your annual free trip around the sun, while the great world spins beneath you.