Wednesday 16 May 2018

Tomato Bruschetta.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

So, Ramadan. Are you ready?
At the time of writing, I'm still not sure whether the month starts on Thursday or Friday.
Whichever way is decided, I'm currently listening to this speech to get me in the mood.
I know a lot of you have prepared and frozen food in advance for the holy month. Well done! To be honest, it's something that I've never done. Over the years I've found that the items that are frozen usually need to be deep-fried. Don't get me wrong, I love a deep-fried snack but as we always read in those medical guides to Ramadan, they're not the best things to eat after a long days fast.

So, I never really prepare them. If they're not in the freezer then the temptation to fry a few at Iftar time will hopefully not be there either. The fasts will be long this year as they were last year too. Looking at the Ramadan timetable from the mosque, I noticed that this year the fasts will continue to get longer as the month goes on. 🌝
Insha Allah, we will be fine. Once our bodies get into the new routine, the month will fly by and before we know it we will be wishing it a sad farewell. The Summer fasts may be long but we are rewarded at Iftar with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Tomatoes are at their prime in the warmer months and one way that I am obsessed with eating them is in the Italian bruschetta way. Guys, master this recipe. If you want a snack or starter at Iftar that isn't deep-fried and is actually kinda good for you, look no further.

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Tomatoes
2. Fresh Basil
3. Red Onion
4. Garlic
5. Dried Oregano
6. Baguette
7. Red Wine Vinegar
8. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
9. Salt
10. Black Pepper

Bismillah, let's begin!

We start by mixing up the tomato mixture. It's really easy because everything just goes into one bowl.

Starting with the tomatoes. Choose really ripe, sweet tomatoes for this recipe - it makes all the difference. Take 3 Tomatoes and ...

... chop them in medium cubes before tipping into your bowl.

Next, fresh basil. This soft herb is the classic partner for the humble tomato especially in the warmer months when even I'm able to grow it, sunshine permitting.

Finely slice a small handful of Fresh Basil and add to the tomatoes.

Next, peel and finely dice 1/2 Red Onion.

Plus peel and finely chop 1 Garlic Clove. Make sure to chop this really fine as you don't want to be getting a large chunk of raw garlic in your mouth.

Looking good so far!

Time to flavour everything up! Starting with red wine vinegar. I'm often asked about this vinegar and other wine vinegars as to whether they are Halal. Yes, they are. You can see this article for more information however there are a few differences of opinion which are mentioned here.

To the tomato mixture, add 1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar. You could also use balsamic vinegar if that's all you have in the cupboard.

Next, olive oil. Traditionally, extra-virgin olive oil is what most recipes call for but between me and you, I'm not the biggest fan of its strong flavour and prefer a lighter olive oil. Moral of the story? Use what you like!

Add in 3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil. Or a light olive oil. 😉

Add in 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano.

And finally, the most important ingredients - Salt and Black Pepper, to taste. Seasoning this tomato mixture properly will bring the whole thing to life.

Give the whole thing a good stir and a taste. Adjust as needed.

Set it aside whilst you grill the bread. This time will also allow the flavours to mingle together and become even more tasty.

Next, let's prepare the bread. Pre-heat a grill or grill pan on high heat. Take 2 medium Baguettes. I used those ones from the supermarket that need part-baking before using.

Slice the baguettes on an angle into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. You don't want them too thick as it will be difficult to eat with the tomatoes on top.

I grilled my bread under a hot grill in my oven so placed the slices onto an oven tray.

Each one was brushed with Olive Oil.

And, grilled the bread until golden brown and crispy. Then, I flipped each slice over, brushed with Olive Oil again and grilled.

So, the bread is ready.

And, so are the tomatoes. They now have extra flavour as they've been sitting in all those wonderful juices.

Guys, if you want to prep this recipe in advance, I would do it up to this point. If you assemble and leave the bruschetta, the bread can get too soggy with the tomato juices.

To serve, top each bread slice with the tomato mixture.

These are going to be so good!

Serve the bruschetta immediately!

Just before serving though, do sprinkle over a little more sliced Fresh Basil. It looks so lovely and the flavour goes well with the juicy tomatoes.

Tomato Bruschetta.

crispy baguette slices topped with a juicy tomato basil mixture.

Prep Time: About 15 minutes.
Cook Time: About 5 minutes.
Serves: About 4 people as a starter or snack.


3 Tomatoes, cut into medium cubes
Small handful Fresh Basil, finely sliced
1/2 Red Onion, peeled and finely diced
1 Garlic Clove, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt, to taste
Black Pepper, to taste
2 medium Baguettes
More Olive Oil, as needed
More Fresh Basil, as needed

Mix up the tomato topping:
In a bowl, mix together the tomatoes, fresh basil, red onion, garlic, red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, dried oregano, salt and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Set aside until needed.

Grill the baguette:
Pre-heat a grill or grill pan. Slice the baguette on an angle into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Brush with olive oil and grill until golden brown and crispy.

Assemble the bruschetta:
Spoon the tomato mixture over each piece of toasted bread. Place on a serving plate and garnish with more fresh basil. Eat immediately.

{adapted from laura in the kitchen}

Keep me in your Ramadan duas please, and enjoy your bruschetta!

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

Spice Enthusiast
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