The Student Foodie: Spectacular toast the Italian way

The+Student+Foodie%3A+This+blog+follows+seasonal+trends+in+culinary+arts+and+offers+fun+and+creative+recipes+that+are+easy+for+anybody+to+make.+Check+out+more+blog+posts+at+theNewtonite.com.+Graphic+made+by+Julia+Moss.

The Student Foodie: This blog follows seasonal trends in culinary arts and offers fun and creative recipes that are easy for anybody to make. Check out more blog posts at theNewtonite.com. Graphic made by Julia Moss.

The Newtonite

The Student Foodie: This blog follows seasonal trends in culinary arts and offers fun and creative recipes that are easy for anybody to make. Check out more blog posts at theNewtonite.com. Graphic made by Julia Moss.
The Student Foodie: This blog follows seasonal trends in culinary arts and offers fun and creative recipes that are easy for anybody to make. Check out more blog posts at theNewtonite.com. Graphic made by Julia Moss.

by Douglas Abrams

Achieving the perfect piece of toast, crispy-brown and covered with the perfect topping, is an elusive and often frustrating goal. Although it may seem unimportant to the gourmets and foodie connoisseurs, toast deserves everyone’s time and devotion.

Trust me, it changed the way I cook.

It all started last week over vacation. The Wednesday was rainy and cold and I was starving for something to eat for breakfast. I opened my fridge—and I’m almost embarrassed to say this—my usually stocked refrigerator was depleted and barren. All that was left were the stale remnants of an old loaf of French bread.

I decided to make bruschetta, which is kind of like italian toast with really delicious ingredients on top. Rather than in a toaster, bruschetta is sauteed in a pan with a little bit of olive oil.

To start, I cut thick slabs of the French bread and placed it in a pan over medium heat with about a half-tablespoon of olive oil. I toasted the bread in the pan until it was golden on one side (for about three minutes) and then flipped it over, toasting the other side for the same amount of time.

In the warm oil, the bread transformed. It got crusty and almost flaky on the outside, and the inside steamed, becoming pillowy and soft—it was the ultimate toast.

After cooking the bread, I started thinking about what to put on top. In the back of my fridge there was one plum tomato, so i decided to use that. I cut the tomato into a medium dice, and allowed it to marinate in a bowl filled with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. The balsamic, thick and sweet, coated each of the tomatoes, peeking through the dark liquid with bright hues of red. I finished the salad with a pinch of salt, and then spooned it over the toasted pieces of bread, which were still warm.

And, like most italian dishes, the final result was so much more than the sum of its parts: the syrupy juices from the vinegar and olive oil and tomatoes seeped into the craggy exterior of the bread. The tomatoes just barely started to cook atop the hot bread and started to soften.

Heres’ the part about how the bread changed my life: when I bit into the blissful bruschetta I realized that simple cooking—the dish had only five ingredients—is often the best cooking.