Summer on a plate: Heirloom Tomato and Peach Bruschetta
High-summer produce—nothing compares. I wait all year for heirloom tomatoes and rejoice when I find them. Usually, I just slice them up and drizzle a little olive oil and salt on them, being too impatient for anything more before devouring. This weekend, though, I got my hands on some fabulous Brandywine heirloom tomatoes at Meredith, New Hampshire’s famous Moulton’s Farm Market. I also grabbed some peaches. When I got back, I picked some basil from the backyard for Heirloom Tomato and Peach Bruschetta. And behold, it was good. Very, very good.
My mom’s a convert
My mom looked a bit dubious when I told her what I planned to make for our appetizer. She’s an excellent cook, but for her, peaches and tomatoes did not belong on the same plate. “Tomatoes AND peaches?” she kept asking.
Well, she’s a convert now, because Heirloom Tomato and Peach Bruschetta transcends. Her exact words: “This will be served at the banquet table [in heaven].” I’m not sure if it’s quite that divine, but it most definitely is summer on a plate, and that’s holy enough for me.
Ridiculously simple to make
Something this easy shouldn’t taste this amazing. The sweetness of the peaches surprises, balancing perfectly with the tang of just-picked tomatoes. I honestly can’t think of a more perfect summer appetizer than Heirloom Tomato and Peach Bruschetta. If you can chop, tear, pour, and toast, be prepared to wow yourself and impress your friends and relations.
You can serve it right away, but it’s even better if you have time to let the flavors build in the fridge for a few hours.
Get the best ingredients you can
With such a simple recipe, though, the quality of the ingredients really counts. You can make this with good cherry tomatoes and store-bought peaches, but this is really a recipe for summer and the farmer’s market. Sherry vinegar is expensive, but it sings in this recipe, allowing the sweetness of the peaches to come through (you can also use it to make Sherry Vinaigrette). You could substitute balsamic vinegar in a pinch, but the results won’t be quite the same.
Scale up or down easily
If I’d been making this for just myself, I would have stuck with one tomato, one peach, and one clove of garlic and had delightful leftovers. You do want decent sized tomatoes and basically more tomato than peach, but it really is up to you. I’ve sometimes skipped the bread and just served this on top of greens the next day.
Otherwise, have at it. Tomato season does not last long. Eat them every day.
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Heirloom Tomato and Peach Bruschetta
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, chopped I used yellow and red Brandywines in the demo. These weren't overly seedy, but if your tomatoes are, then remove most of the seeds
- 2 peaches, chopped these should be ripe, but not so much that they don't keep their shape
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped to taste
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil add a little at first, and adjust as necessary
- 1 handful basil leaves, torn to taste
- kosher salt to taste
- 6 slices crusty bread, toasted on the grill you can also do this in the oven or frying pan
- Combine the tomatoes, peaches, and garlic in a bowl. Add the sherry vinegar, and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add the salt, then the basil and taste. Adjust as needed, keeping in mind that the flavors will develop. If your tomatoes and peaches are on the dryer side, add a little more olive oil. Set aside or refrigerate until ready to serve
- To serve, top the toasted bread with the tomatoes and peaches, and drizzle some of the liquid over