The Julia Child Bruschetta recipe that's so good it brought my guests to tears. Olive Oil fried rustic bread topped with marinated tomatoes and basil.
If you're the kind of person who likes to cook, you know the satisfaction you get from serving someone food and having them smile at the end of eating it. If they actually mumble out a "Soooo goood" as they're eating it even better. Betty does that all the time when I feed her, (but she doesn't count because she makes the same sounds eating a TV dinner or a pistachio she swept up from behind the fridge.)
So the MMMMMMmmmmmm sounds are good, but the Holy Grail of feeding someone is bringing them to tears. Reducing a human being to a quaking, sobbing mess whose greatest fear in life is no longer death ... but the thought of never eating this delicious food again.
On August 22nd, 2014 such a miracle occurred in my kitchen. And then it happened again.
I thought it was just a fluke, like when people see Jesus in their Cream of Wheat, but when it happened a second time I knew I'd stumbled upon something pretty spectacular. Definitely more spectacular than a hairy fridge pistachio.
Do you want to know what this miracle food was? Bruschetta. But you knew that already if you read the title of this post.
This isn't just any bruschetta though, it's bruschetta inspired by the movie Julie & Julia which if you don't know, it's a movie based on Julie Powell's blog in which she chronicled her (successful) attempt to recreate every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking". GREAT premise for a blog.
In the movie the bruschetta looked and sounded so goooood. And if you watch the scene from the movie, Julie's husband does exactly what you want people to do when they eat your cooking. He says, "This is GOOOOD!"
Also I love whatshisname. Whatshisname is my favourite character on The Mindy Project right after Mindy. And the other guy who is so funny. You know. The nurse.
The Bruschetta Recipe
So you want to learn how to make this bruschetta? Want to learn how to bring someone to tears with your food? Here we go.
First of all a few tips:
1. Use fresh, crusty bread. Whole slices! Not a baguette.
2. FRY in olive oil. I mean it. You fry it.
3. Don't even attempt this if it isn't summer and you don't have fresh tomatoes.
Let's get started ...
You need bread, olive oil, tomatoes, basil and salt.
Dice a few fresh, local tomatoes. Extra points for heirloom and homegrown. Even if the home wasn't yours.
Tear up a handful of fresh basil and add it. Add lots if you love basil, little if you don't. I used this sized bunch for around 5 small-medium tomatoes.
I know you're alarmed that there's no fresh garlic in this recipe but there isn't. I'm not going to second guess Julia Child. It's is 100% delicious without the overpowering flavour of garlic. If you want to add garlic you can but I BEG you to try it without first.
Drizzle the tomatoes and basil with a good amount of olive oil and let stand for 30-45 minutes.
After 30 minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper (I actually don't use pepper but go nuts if you're a pepper person) let sit for another 10 minutes or so.
Cover the bottom of a pan with olive oil until it's approximately 3mm deep. Just glug it in there. Heat pan over medium/low. Not too hot or your bread will burn, not too low or it'll just soak up a bunch of oil and get gross.
To test if your oil is hot enough to fry place the end of a wooden spoon in the oil. If the tip forms bubbles right away, it's at the right temperature to fry.
While the pan is heating, slice your crusty bread. I make my own bread using the master recipe from this cookbook, The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day but you don't have to make your own bread. Just use a fresh, dense, crusty loaf.
Fry bread slices in oil until browned or your tongue falls out of your mouth. Whichever comes first.
Remove bread from the pan and generously spoon the tomato mixture over the top. But first, maybe, just look at the golden brown, toasty, olive oil drenched goodness. Smell it. Love it.
O.K., NOW you can top it with your tomatoes and basil. Just spoon it right on there. Lots of it.
And now you eat it.
Bruschetta from the movie Julie & Julia
- 3 medium tomatoes heirloom and a variety of colours if you can get them.
- 3 large stems basil
- ½ cup olive oil good quality
- 4 slices bread hearty, crusty bread is best.
- Dice tomatoes.Shred basil leaves.Mix tomatoes and basil in bowl with ¼ of olive oil, reserving other ¼ cup for frying.Let this mixture sit for 30 minutes.When the 30 minutes is up, add a generous sprinkling of salt to the mixture and let it sit for another 10 minutes.Now is when you can heat up ¼ cup of olive oil (your goal is to have 3mm of oil in the pan) over medium/low heat.Once hot, fry your slices of bread until golden.Remove bread from pan and top with tomato mixture.
I've listed this as a snack, but in the summer this could easily be a meal. Especially if you round it out with a big bowl of ice cream.
Serve the bruschetta HOT. With a box of Kleenex.
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The food looks so yummy and delicious!!! Thanks for sharing these pictures!
Throw a couple smashed garlic gloves in with that frying oil. Mmm hmm. Sometimes, I pile everything onto the bread, top it with feta chunks, then broil it. Mmm hmm. This is hands down one of my favorite foods.
This looks amazing!!! I don't have a garden this year, but will hightail it over to the farmer's market to pick up some local tomatoes and basil to give this a try! Thanks, Karen!
Since you wrote this a month ago I hope you see my question. Do you fry both sides of the bread?
You may think it's silly to ask but I'm not much of a cook. A lot of things that are assumed, escape me.
Hi Mary. Yes! You do fry both sides of the bread. :) I should have put that in the instructions! Sorry. ~ karen!
I found this recipe a few years ago and it’s my favorite taste of summer now. Absolutely delicious!!
I want to make loads and loads of this while tomatoes are in season! Have you ever canned it?
I haven't, but that's a great idea! ~ karen
cripes... my eyes are barely open, coffee still only half drunk, and all I want is some of that fried bread. The topping will gave to wait until there are tomatoes, which, considering 27 of 29 days this July have been over 90F/32C, may be never.
Love that movie. I watch it over and over again.
This looks amazing! We grew our own tomatoes and basil so I'm almost there!
Thanks for sharing.
I ADORE good bruschetta! I have fresh tomatoes, can make the no knead bread by morning, and have fresh basil. I've never fried the bread in olive oil so assume that is my big mistake. I loved the movie, too. I grew a variety of smaller tomatoes this year just for fun. A big surprise was the peach tomato. All the plant markers faded to nothing and I didn't know this plant was the peach one but once I picked it - oh yes, it was the peach one. I kept wondering why the small group of 4 tomatoes took forever to turn orange then red. They just stayed yellow. So once one of them rotted, I felt the others and they were so ready. I picked them and took them to my grandson who eats all food from my garden. He loved his. I tasted mine (small like a small lemon, soft skin like a peach, and a tiny blush almost impossible to see. But it was delicious, juicy, and so good to eat out of hand. I will be growing more next year.
A peach tomato! I'll have to look into that. :) ~ karen!
I always love reading your blog posts simply because you have such a cute and funny way of saying things. Doesn't even matter what the post is about, I'll read it just because I know its gonna make me giggle right out loud! This one did catch my eye because I love bruschetta and just planted some basil and can't wait to use it for bruschetta. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe and for all the cheer! Keep on doin' what you do!
I hope you like it Giggles. ;) ~ karen!
This recipe is really good. If you are deeply concerned about the lack of garlic, I would recommend taking a Xanax and then giving it a go anyway. It turned out great for me.
SUCH A AMAZING RECIPE!
THANK YOU FOR SHARING.....
I tried bruschetta in Venice, Italy. Ohhhhhh, my gosh! Luckily, the first place I tried was the best...and then not so much any other restaurant. I did not look at both sides of the bread. You do not mention in your recipe (and neither did Julie) if you fry both sides. I want to do it correctly!!
In the movie Julie flips the bread. Fry both sides 👍🏼