I love arugula.
Peppery & bright green arugula makes the perfect summer green, in my most humble opinon. We spend an awful lot of time in southern Wisconsin at my parents' lake house in the summer months. All of the time "up at the lake" as we say, gives me a chance to utilize my parents' giant & wonderful gas grill. Living in a condo makes it a little tough to own a giant & wonderful gas grill, so I make do with cooking on my parents'!
We had some arugula in the fridge from the Green City Market (http://www.greencitymarket.org/index.asp) in Chicago that was begging to be used, so I tried it in bruschetta. For the record, the Green City Market is worthy of its own post- I love an awful lot about that place, the arugula is just the tip of the iceberg.
You may already know that I think bread is always better when it is warmed/toasted but when we were having 100+ degree days at the lake, no one wanted to warm the kitchen by turning on the oven, which is why I grilled the bread for the bruschetta. The grill left delicious char on the bread & saved me from my Mom's admonishing for making her kitchen too hot. Win win, right?
Here is the recipe for the bruschetta, everyone gobbled it as a side dish at dinner 1 night, so I made it as an appetizer the next night! We found large tomatoes worked far better than cherry tomatoes did. I have no idea why; but I wouldn't recommend cherry or grape tomatoes in this recipe. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family & I did!
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 generous handfuls arugula
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 loaf French baguette (or 1 demi loaf)
Olive oil for brushing the bread
Kosher salt (to taste)
Freshly ground pepper (to taste)
Chop the tomatoes, mince or press the garlic, and chop the arugula. Mix together in a pretty bowl (don't waste a dirty dish here- use the bowl you'll serve it in to mix it!). Add a few pinches of kosher salt & a few grinds of black pepper and mix well. Give it a taste & increase the salt & pepper to your liking.
Preheat your grill (ideally you are using your grill to cook the rest of your meal, but if not, preheat for about 10 minutes)
Slice the bread on the bias (so the pieces are pretty ovals, not plain rounds :). Brush both sides with olive oil & sprinkle with a bit of salt & pepper. Grill over indirect heat for about 1 minute per side (keep close watch - it doesn't take long for the bread to look like charcoal.......which isn't really what we're going for!).
Serve the bread with the topping and enjoy with your friends or family. And wine. Definitely have a cool glass of white wine too.
Happy summer everyone!