For our third installment of What’s Cooking, Nordstrom Blog Editor Jeff creates a crowd-pleasing favorite from the Nordstrom Flavors Cookbook—dressed up with a twist that makes it perfect for entertaining.
With another simple-to-follow recipe developed by our corporate chef, Michael Northern, and his small army of chefs and contributors, Jeff proves (with his photographic evidence) that you don’t have to be a professional chef to transform beautiful ingredients into irresistible food that’s meant to be shared with family and friends.
I don’t think you need to look any further for an appetizer that’s fit for a holiday fête. During such a busy time of year, this recipe keeps things stress-free and simple, but its depth of flavor will have your guests remembering it well into the new year and beyond. The combination of both sun-dried and fresh tomatoes marry to create a sweet complexity, while the nutty roasted garlic mingles on the tongue with the basil and Parmesan, for a bite that’s worthy of celebration—and a glass of fine champagne.
Roasted Garlic Bruschetta with Tomato and Basil
from the Nordstrom Flavors Cookbook
(serves 6 to 8)
“Bruschetta, which is often nothing more than toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with tomatoes, is as simple as it is delicious. This version embellishes the original, and the pumped-up flavors will have guests clamoring for more. “
—Chef Tony Colabelli
Roasted Garlic Bruschetta
1⁄2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1⁄3 cup drained, finely chopped, olive oil–packed sun-dried tomatoes
1⁄3 cup coarsely chopped Simple Roasted Garlic
1 1⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1 rustic-style baguette
3⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano
Tomato and Basil Topping
2 large, ripe tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1⁄2-inch dice
1⁄4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1⁄2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
To make the Roasted Garlic Bruschetta: Using a rubber spatula, mash together the butter, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted garlic, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl until well combined.
Split the baguette lengthwise. Spread the butter mixture over the cut surfaces, extending it to the edge of the crust. Sprinkle the buttered surfaces evenly with the Parmesan. (The prepared bread can be loosely covered with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 4 hours before continuing.)
To make the Tomato and Basil Topping: Combine the tomatoes, basil, olive oil and vinegar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour to blend the flavors.
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Place the bread halves, Parmesan side up, on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the cheese is browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the bread halves to a cutting board.
Using a serrated knife, cut the bread into triangles and transfer them to a serving platter. Serve immediately, with the bowl of tomato topping and a slotted serving spoon on the side. Invite guests to top the bread with a spoonful of the tomatoes.
Editor’s Note: The method for creating one of this recipe’s star ingredients—the Simple Roasted Garlic—is one I can’t recommend enough. It’s a favorite flavor of mine, but I always cringe at turning on the oven for just one or two heads of garlic. Making it en masse without the skin means no messy squeezing and a plentiful yield. Best of all, I put the roasted cloves on a sheet pan in the freezer and then transferred them to a zipper-lock bag once they were frozen. I had roasted garlic camping out in my freezer for weeks. Quick to thaw, they were like little gems of dynamite flavor that went into every dish I could think of!
Download a PDF of this recipe to print it, and find more tempting dishes in our Nordstrom Family Table Cookbook. Have a favorite recipe from our restaurants or cookbooks that you’d like to see featured? Let us know in the comments!
[Photos by Jeff Powell]