Guest Blog by Tiffany Nettles of Columbia SC Moms Blog
Living in South Carolina means lots of sunshine and an abundance of outdoor living spaces. My family and I, along with any guests that stop by, are most often on the porch enjoying the breezes, so whenever I have the opportunity to make meals outside and not heat up the house, I take it. I’ve teamed up with my friends at Terminix Service, who have helped keep my backyard mosquito free. to provide some great ways to enjoy your summer outside with friends and family.
Cooking outdoors allows me to spend more time with those I love, and to impart a little extra flavor into my food. And when I grill, I like to do it as simply as possible. This hits all of those points!
There are few things as good as fresh from the garden tomatoes. But some would argue, myself included, that the occasional addition of bacon only improves things. This is definitely one of those times. This simply grilled bread is just toasty enough to stand up to the tomatoes and give this snack a nice, toothy crunch. Topped with summer tomatoes and salty bacon, this appetizer or first course could easily become a light dinner. Prep the ingredients ahead of time and it becomes a fuss free dish you could make with your eyes closed. Around here, an enormous glass of sweet tea (lots of ice) makes the perfect partner to a platter of this bruschetta, but I’ll let you make that call.
Grilled Tomato & Bacon Bruschetta
This is an easy dish to prep ahead. Make the tomato topping and set aside until ready to serve. Slice the bread and wrap well to keep fresh, and crumble or chop the bacon and set aside as well. Have all the ingredients sitting out at room temp and waiting for you. When you are ready to make it, brush the bread, grill, top, and serve-all in a matter of minutes!
1 lb bacon, fried till crispy
1/2 of a 1lb loaf of whole grain Italian baguette, or similar bread, cut into half inch slices (this will give you about a dozen slices)
3 large, vine ripe, preferably local tomatoes, chopped
small pinch of salt
large pinch of ground black pepper
2 T of olive oil
1 tsp of balsamic vinegar
When the bacon is cool, chop or crumble and set aside. Gently toss the tomatoes, salt, pepper, olive oil, and vinegar together in small bowl. Set aside. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and grill over medium high heat, just until toasted and grill marks appear. THIS WILL NOT TAKE LONG! A minute at most! Flip the bread to toast the other side. Remove the toast to a platter and top with large spoonfuls of the tomato mixture. Sprinkle with bacon and serve immediately. Everyone in my family, kids included, enjoy this tasty recipe under the Carolina sun.
***Topped with a fried egg, these make an awesome dish for brunch!