Top Secret Restaurant Recipes: Olive Garden's Bruschetta

Olive Garden's recently redesigned bruschetta recipe improves on the Italian chain's previous version. The tomato salad includes a little sun-dried tomato and balsamic vinegar, and it is now served in a separate dish rather than on the bread. Now the bread doesn't get soggy. The tomatoes are finely diced before mixing with the other ingredients and the ciabatta bread is sprinkled with a little grated Parmesan cheese before it is toasted.

Try to find a nice, chewy loaf of Italian bread for this dish -- get the best bread in the store. The better your bread, the better your bruschetta.

Ingredients:

3 firm roma tomatoes, finely diced (about 1 ½ cups)

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons diced marinated sun-dried tomatoes

pinch dried parsley flakes
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

9-10 slices ciabatta bread (or Italian bread)

Directions:

1. Toss diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and salt in a medium bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour.

2. When you are ready to serve the dish, preheat oven to 450 degrees.

3. Combine Parmesan cheese with dried parsley in a small bowl. Arrange the bread slices on a baking sheet.

4. Sprinkle a couple of pinches of the Parmesan cheese mixture over each bread slice. Bake for 5 minutes or until the bread starts to crisp.

5. Pour tomato mixture into a serving dish (strain off the liquid), and serve it up alongside the toasted bread slices. Makes 4 servings.

Recipe courtesy of Todd Wilbur, "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2," Plume Books.

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