Let’s clear one thing up before we go any further. Bruschetta is pronounced like this: Broos-ketta. You say it with a hard C. I know it’s very Seinfeldian of me to be peevish over such a thing, but it drives me crazy!—especially when I hear waiters at really nice Italian restaurants saying brooshetta. No and no. If you want to pronounce it like Furio from The Sopranos, that is, like a goon with a heavy Naples accent, then you say broosh-ketta. But it’s still a hard C no matter how you slice it.
Tomatoes are finally, gloriously in season. After last year’s tomato blight, I’ve been awaiting their return like I used to wait for the Sears Wish Book as a child. They’re just starting to trickle into my CSA vegetable share with a couple of juicy beefsteaks this week and a dozen or so red and orange cherry tomatoes.
Over the weekend, I stopped by the ever reliable Manhattan Fruit and Vegetable Exchange at Chelsea Market where I purchased the first of the big Jersey tomatoes bearing their fiery, orange-red skin. I also had a few plum tomatoes hanging around at home, so I decided to combine my entire tomato bounty into one meal.
I chopped them into small pieces, adorned them with just sea salt, olive oil, a clove of garlic, and some torn basil leaves from the plant on my window sill. Finally, I spooned the colorful mixture on to slices of bread that had been toasted in a frying pan with a touch of olive oil.
Aren’t they pretty?
A few notes for your own tomato eating pleasure: Don’t store them in the fridge! Anything below 50? ruins the flavor. When ripe, they’ll be slightly soft, have a uniform color and most importantly, smell like a tomato. If they need more time, you can put them in a brown paper bag and let them ripen on your counter top. Ideally, they should be stored in a cool, though not cold place.
Oh, and one final Italian lesson. Tomato, in Italian, is pomodoro, which translates to “golden apple.” Enjoy!