bruschettaI have been mispronouncing this fantastic appetizer for so many years that, now that I know better, I can’t seem to get it out my mouth correctly. At least I have no trouble getting it into my mouth!! I fell in love Brushetta (broos-keh-t-tah) on my first visit to Park Side Restaurant located in the Corona neighborhood in Queens. This place is the real deal when it comes to authentic Italian fare. It also has a very colorful connection to the Mafia. In fact, it is owned by Anthony “Tough Tony” Federici, a reputed Genovese captain. We make sure to allow time to dine there during our annual trip to New York. You can still see many “associates” meeting for dinner and drinks and a “business” discussion.

This recipe is a real winner. However, I do have a few things that I think would make it even better. Make sure that you purchase nice firm, ripe grape tomatoes. We prefer them cut into eight pieces rather than in half. The smaller the cut the easier it is to eat without spilling. It also gives a mouth full of the wonderful tomato, garlic and basil deliciousness. This is the first time that I toasted the bread on the stove in butter. It came out beautifully, but make sure that you watch the temperature of the pan. Butter has a pretty low smoking point and you want to keep your bread light, toasty and just browned. I like to allow the bruschetta to rest overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out about an hour before serving to take off the chill and serve with freshly grated parmesan. Many thanks to Food Networks Pioneer Woman for this recipe. It was a Fan-Favorite on game day . . .


BRUSCHETTA (Serves 12)


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 pint red grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 pint yellow grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 16 whole fresh basil leaves, plus more as needed, chiffonade
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole baguette or crusty loaf
  • 1 stick butter


  1. In a small skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir, lightly frying for about a minute, removing before the garlic gets too brown (it can be golden). Pour the garlic and oil into a mixing bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  2. Add the red and yellow tomatoes, balsamic and basil to the bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to combine, and then taste and add more basil if needed, and more salt if needed (don’t over salt, though!) Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two if you have the time.
  3. Cut the baguette into diagonal slices to allow for the most surface area possible. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet and grill half the bread on both sides, making sure they’re nice and buttery. Cook until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and the other half of the bread.
  4. To serve, give the tomato mixture a final stir, and then spoon generously over the slices of bread. Serve on a big platter as a first course or appetizer.


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About Worth Stopping By . . .

I am a blogger who would rather talk than write. I enjoy traveling, family time, friends and food/fine dining. I have made some real efforts in the kitchen lately, and I blog in order to document and motivate myself to: 1.) fully use all of the fresh ingredients in my kitchen and 2.) cook healthy, creative meals.

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