Crispy Bread with Tomato and Asiago.
AKA: Tomato Toast. At least, that's what Georgia calls is.
Born of the ruby beauties currently hanging from sprawling branches in my overgrown August garden, this snack, appetizer, or side dish is about as delicious as it gets. Simple preparation, bright flavors, and contrasting textures. It's all the goodness of a casual summer smeared into one.
While it may seem like a strange concept to smear the tomato, I assure you, it's essential. We're harnessing the taste of the tomato without the slippery texture messin' up our juju. And ain't nobody needing to be messin' with my juju, man. I'm having a hard enough time as is remembering what my name is half the time.
I'm blaming that on the three leeches, I mean children, who inhabit this farm home.
And speaking of, I should mention how much they adored this dish. What's not to like? It's pretty much a simplified and romanticized version of a a grilled cheese. Instead of packaged bread, full of preservatives and questionable ingredients, we're utilizing a hardy, artisan loaf that's been fermented and baked with care. Instead of mounds of cheddar cheese, we're highlighting sharp, nutty Asiago. And instead of dipping it in ketchup (was I the only one who dipped my grilled cheese in ketchup growing up?) we're brightening the flavors with garden tomatoes.
Sometimes it's cool to be a grown up and have grown up tastes.
But it's even cooler when your kids are totally on board and enjoy those tastes too!
Shall we? I think we shall.
Crispy Bread With Tomato and Asiago
You will need:
– 8 slices of crusty bread (I utilized bread from a local bakery who slowly ferments their dough. Find the best you can! Alternatively, you can bake the Eat, Drink, and Be Merry Bread in From Scratch… it would work great for this!)
– 1 large garlic clove, peeled
– 8 cherry tomatoes or 4 regular tomatoes, halved
– Shaved Asiago (or Parmesan) cheese, about 4-5 generous shavings per slice
– Olive oil, for serving
Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes per side, until just golden. Don't overtoast or it'll be difficult to eat!
After the bread has toasted, remove the pan from the oven. Gently rub the garlic clove evenly over the slices. This will help to give it a slight garlic flavor without overpowering the other flavors. Garlic can punch you in the face, man. That's not what we're going for here.
Rub the tomatoes generously over the slices. The insides of the tomato will mush and smear into the bread and you'll be left with the skin at the end of it all. Discard. Repeat the tomato smooshing until each slice of bread is coated in all that pink hued tomato magic. If you'd like, you can incorporate a few small pieces of the tomato to make it look prettier. I did. I have a love for tomatoes that knows no bounds.
Now, all we've got to do is top with a bit of flaked sea salt and pepper…
… a lay our Asiago cheese shavings over the top…
… before diagonally slicing the bread for easier consumption (ie: shoving in my face)…
… and drizzling ever so slightly with olive oil before serving.
Now you may be saying to yourself: Self! What is Shaye thinking? That's practically a non-recipe it's so easy! She's a terrible chef. Like, duh! We could've done this on our own!
Which may be true. But have you? Have you experienced the pure delight of biting into crunchy, artisan bread that's been smothered and layered with the beautiful flavors of garlic, tomato, and Asiago? Have you? HAVE YOU?
Okay. You may have. But you may have not.
And for the have nots, I present the Crusty Bread with Tomato and Asiago. Because life's too short to not enjoy the simple pleasures of this dish, served alongside your favorite brand of Chianti. The only thing that could make this better is if I was enjoying it on a vineyard in Sienna.
Leeches, I mean children, may or may not be welcomed in this fantasy. I've yet to decide.
The good news is they love this toast. I love this toast. And I'm pretty sure everyone in Sienna would love this toast too.
Get you some.
For other great meal ideas, no matter what your dietary restrictions, check out the meal planning service I use: Real Plans.
Crispy Bread with Tomato and Asiago.
- 8 slices of crusty bread
- 1 large garlic clove (peeled)
- 8 cherry tomatoes or 4 regular tomatoes (halved)
- Flaked sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Shaved Asiago (or Parmesan cheese, about 4-5 generous shavings per slice)
- Olive oil (for serving)
- Lay the bread slices on a baking sheet and toast in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes per side, until just golden. Don’t overtoast or it’ll be difficult to eat!
- After the bread has toasted, remove the pan from the oven. Gently rub the garlic clove evenly over the slices.
- Rub the tomatoes generously over the slices. The insides of the tomato will mush and smear into the bread and you’ll be left with the skin at the end of it all. Discard. Repeat the tomato smooshing until each slice of bread is coated in all that pink hued tomato magic. If you’d like, you can incorporate a few small pieces of the tomato to make it look prettier.
- Now, all we’ve got to do is top with a bit of flaked sea salt and pepper…
- … a lay our Asiago cheese shavings over the top…
- … before diagonally slicing the bread for easier consumption…
- … and drizzling ever so slightly with olive oil before serving