2005_07_babbo_cookbook.jpgThe Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali (Clarkson Potter, 2002)

Still feeling the heat this week, Gothamist decided to only slightly deviate from our no-cooking policy by making Mario Batali's tomato and sheep's milk bruschetta. With tomatoes at their peak right now (and lots of different varieties available at the greenmarkets), we're always looking for a new way way to eat (uncooked) tomatoes. After many tomato salads and lots of pico de gallo salsa, Italian bruschetta seemed like a nice change of pace.

While Batali's recipe tells you turn on your grill (in NYC? shyeah, right) or broiler, we figured that our toaster would do the trick and would heat up our kitchen a lot less. Turns out we were right. Once we had toasted the peasant bread, it was sturdy enough to handle the garlic rub, olive oil, and toppings.

So plug in your toaster, chop those tomatoes, and have another easy summer dinner.


2 tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
10 fresh basil leaves, finely shredded
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 large garlic cloves, 1 halved, the other 3 sliced paper thin
8 3/4-inch slices of crusty peasant bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 pound cacio di roma or other semi-soft sheep's milk cheese

1. Preheat the grill or broiler.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, black pepper, and sliced garlic. Set aside.

3. Grill or toast the bread for 2 to 4 minutes, until golden brown. Rub one side of each slice of bread with one of the garlic halves, then brush with some of the olive oil. Season the tomato mixture with salt, and spoon some of the tomato mixture onto each of the 8 pieces of bread and with a vegetable peeler, shave cacio over each piece and serve immediately.