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Published September 17, 2009, 12:00 AM

CHEF JEFF — ONE BYTE AT A TIME: Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil

The following recipe, courtesy of Good Housekeeping, is everything bruschetta should be — crispy bread, juicy tomatoes, hints of basil and garlic.

Before it freezes and all of your home-grown tomatoes and fresh basil are history, consider fixing a simple bruschetta. The following recipe, courtesy of Good Housekeeping, is everything bruschetta should be — crispy bread, juicy tomatoes, hints of basil and garlic.

Bruschetta with Tomatoes and Basil

1 8-ounce loaf Italian bread

1 large clove garlic, halved

8 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded, cut into ¼-inch pieces

2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread diagonally into scant ½-inch-thick slices; reserve ends for making bread crumbs later. Place slices on 2 cookie sheets.

Toast bread on 2 oven racks until crusty dry, turning slices over once and rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking. Transfer bread to wire racks to cool slightly. When bread is cool enough to handle, rub one side of toast slices with cut side of garlic.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, gently toss tomatoes, basil, oil, salt and pepper until combined.

To serve, spoon 1 heaping tablespoon tomato mixture on garlic-rubbed side of toast slices.

Grab more food tidbits at the Chef Jeff blog at GrandForksHerald.com.

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