Seasons are changing. There is no denying it. Just yesterday I was still sitting on my terrace in the early evening, enjoying the diffuse light of a sun that is not reaching as low anymore - blocked by trees and buildings - but yet able to beam down on the higher parts of the house, painting those sharp, bright orange lines on the walls. The air was warm and tight; you could feel it. This summer was not one of those that genuinely deserve that name. It was unsettled, more cool and cloudy than anything else with one day after another looking like it was just about to rain or raining.
So last week it felt like summer actually had to proof something. Like it still wanted everyone to know that it actually existed. Suddenly it was hot. Not that hot you could hardly motivate yourself to do anything, but hot. For one week and if I am being honest, not even a full one. Then it was yesterday evening, and hell broke loose. Within moments, the sky was tinted in a deep gray with wind starting to build up. First lightnings already went down in the distance before it reached us and hastily I put all the flower pots and herbs I could on the floor. Torrents fell from the sky in a moment's notice. Wind. A strong breeze. A storm. Pots I thought where heavy enough went rattling to the ground. The place I just sat – soaking wet. It went on until deep in the night and had its last flare-up early in the morning.
Now I am sitting again in my chosen place on the terrace, a mild sun shining on my face in clear and cool air. Autumn.
Yet still I am not ready to bring myself completely in that season's mood, so with this little recipe, I am clinging on the little rest of summer that is left.
It contains what I would call the queen of summer, tomato (with zucchini being king), and my personal holy trinity of summery herbs: Basil, thyme and oregano. Depending on the size of the bread you choose, this can either be an appetizer or a light little meal.
Baked Tomato Bruschetta
Makes about 6-10 slices of bread, depending on the size
Serve on your bread of choice. I recommend a nice baguette or ciabatta.
- 250g cherry/date/plum/any kind of small tomatoes (8.8 oz. but does not have to be exact)
- 1 ball of mozzarella
- 2 twigs of thyme
- 1 big twig of oregano
- a nice hand full of basil along with the stalk
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 2 gloves of garlic
- Bread of choice, I used ciabatta but it is also great on a baguette or even plain white bread.
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F).
- Depending on their size, half or quarter tomatoes, removing most of the seeds (important). Set aside.
- Finely chop up onion, add to tomatoes.
- Remove leaves from the twigs from both thyme and oregano. Chop them up along with the basil. No need to remove the stalk (as long as it is green) – you can chop it up like chives. Add to tomatoes.
- Pour in vinegar and olive oil, add salt to taste (a few dashes, probably), stir well.
- Let sit for about 15 minutes. The herbs, garlic and onion will get stuck in the hollow parts of the tomatoes.
- Lay out slices of bread on baking tray lined with parchment paper.
- Place tomatoes, mostly cut side up, on bread. To help them stay that way, lay some of the onion/herb mixture on bread beforehand. The whole procedure does not only look prettier, it also keeps most of the nice juices in the tomatoes, preventing the bread from getting soggy.
- Pour remaining mixture over tomatoes until there is nothing left.
- Tear mozzarella apart with your hands and evenly place on bruschetta. It should be enough for all of it. You do not want to cover it up completely with the cheese.
- Put in the oven for 15 minutes or until mozzarella is completely molten and slightly brown.
- Add pepper to taste and serve immediately.
My little storm is nothing compared to the hurricane that is barreling towards New York and the East Coast. Let's hope for the best!