Finger foods aren’t just for parties. When it’s really hot outside, I don’t like to get too complicated in the kitchen. When it’s cold outside, I like comfort food. Bread and cheese fit in both of these categories, so here comes my recipe for simple Bruschetta, or Italian toasts. They can be made on the grill if you don’t want to crank up your oven; alternatively, they can be made in a toaster oven if you don’t want to remove all those pots and pans you store in there (not saying anyone I know actually does that…)

Bruschetta with Brown Tomatoes, Garlic and Cheese

I used black tomatoes in my recipe because they were intriguing and fresh at my market.  They don’t taste much different from other tomato varieties, in my opinion so if anyone is apprehensive about the color affecting the taste, tell them there’s no need for that.

Serves 4, 6 or even 20- if everyone can eat just one each…

½ loaf Italian or thick French bread, about one-inch around

4 cloves garlic

3 black tomatoes, finely diced (or any type of tomatoes you have on hand)

1 bunch flat leaf Italian parsley

good quality extra virgin olive oil

Freshly grated Parmesan, Provolone or any of your favorite type of {halal} cheese


Preheat oven to 350°.

Slice bread into about 20 pieces.

Place bread slices on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove immediately.

Rub fresh garlic on each piece of bread (top only). Add a sprinkle of diced tomatoes on each piece and then top with fresh parsley, a drizzle of olive oil and a bit of Parmesan to top.

Bismillah and Buon Appetito!

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