Grilled Bruschetta the Tuscany Way

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16 slices italian bread
6 medium plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise
1 large eggplant, cut in 1/2-inch slices
1/4 pound grated romano cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup vegetable oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
1/8 cup crushed dry basil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste

Place charcoal in a pyramid shape and light with either lighter fluid, electric starter or chimney starter. Wait until coals are gray and spread in a single layer for the direct heat method. Spray grid with non-stick spray and let grid heat over the hot coals (the hotter the grid, the less chance the food will stick).

Place eggplant and tomatoes in a bowl and toss with the vegetable oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the vegetables on the grid over a medium-hot fire or for best results use a greased vegetable and fish grill basket. The baskets are available at most department stores outdoor leisure departments.

Cook the vegetables for two to three minutes on each side, or until brown and soft on the inside. Remove from grill, roughly chop and place in a medium sized bowl. Add the garlic, olive oil, vinegar and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss well and set aside.

Place the slices of bread on the grill around the edge of the grid where the heat is cooler, toast until browned, three to four minutes. Sprinkle cheese on the bread, grill an additional one minute. Place toasted bread on a platter, and spoon eggplant and tomato mixture onto the bread and serve as an antipasto.

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