Tomatoes for People Who Hate Tomatoes aka Bruschetta For Non-Believers
My husband is a “no tomato” guy. He orders no tomatoes on everything. Until one day I made this jammy, un-tart, garlicky, buttery concoction that converted him to sometimes liking tomatoes. And that is what I live for. Oh and let’s not forget we grew the toms and basil in the garden, so now we’re really just over the top on life being perfect.
Anyhow, humbly continuing... I use this combo as a go-to for last minute appetizers and quick leftover pastas, to top off some pork chops or even to place just beside some globs of burrata for scooping and snacking on with a spoon. I know that sounds so extra. Not mad about it.
If you must choose one of these for converting a tomato-basher, choose the bruschetta. It’s based off of my absolute favorite restaurant, The Union Hotel in Occidental. They have award-winning bruschetta and I’ve tried to recreate it.
Here’s the bruschetta recipe, which you can adapt by taking out the bread steps to leave you with a very versatile sautéed tomato recipe.
A quick tip: be sure to chop those tomatoes nice and small. I feel the smaller pieces are more palatable for our non-believer friends.
Bruschetta for Non-Believers
Small loaf of french bread sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 cup cherry tomatoes chopped
1 cup Sun Gold tomatoes chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil split
3 tablespoons butter split
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Dash of sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Sprinkling of balsamic vinegar
Basil garnish that is not optional
Over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil until just melted.
Place bread slices into mixture until just browned about 2 mins on each side. You do not want crispy crunchy, just slightly browned at the edges and barely firm in the center. Set aside
Add rest of olive oil and butter and melt that. Add tomatoes and stir, reducing heat to med-low. Don’t go anywhere, as these cook quickly. Add salt and sugar after about a minute when the tomatoes start to break down, give a good stir and then add garlic. The sugar is a very very tiny little dash to just negate a little tartness.
Sautée until there are still some tomatoes that are holding shape, but some of them have become mushy.
Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes - not all the way cool, just not piping hot.
Place tomatoes onto bread, drizzle very slightly with balsamic vinegar and then cut a few small 1/2 inch strips of basil on top. I use scissors to cut mine because I’m wild like that.
Note: This bruschetta is a bit soft, and that helps the bread not get too tart. It’s all very melt-in-your-mouth and it’s sort of more sweet, and deep in flavor which helps the non-believers (our tomato haters) convert.
For version two: The Pasta
If you want to use this on leftover pasta like I do, then you can reduce the amount of oil and butter you use, although I don’t. What I do however is add the pasta last, as opposed to first (like the bread) so it heats up and gets coated in the gooey yum.
Note: I make huge batches of pasta and save half of it just naked with a little oil on it so it doesn’t dry out in the fridge. That way I can use it a couple days later for the toddler by just adding butter and parmesan, or for myself by adding this tomato thing plus some kale and whatever else is calling at me from the fridge, like feta cheese or crook neck squash.
If you manage to be converted, or have brought a friend into the fold of tomato-loving, let me know!