cilantro bruschetta on prosciutto

I had the pleasure of dining at a fantastic Tapas restaurant in East Village this Friday with my boyfriend at a place named The Barrel, where among many delicacies they served some excellent bruschetta.  Inspired by the way their tomato topping seemed to burst with freshness on my tongue, I decided to give it a go in my own kitchen, despite my lack of basil.  It turns out cilantro works just as well!

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Cilantro Bruschetta on Prosciutto

Ingredients: (serves 4)

1 large tomato, diced into 1/4″ cubes
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
shredded mozzarella cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 baguette, or equivalent bread
prosciutto, thinly sliced
3-4 leaves cilantro (original recipe uses basil), chopped
parsley flakes

Using a sharp knife, dice the tomato as small as you can.  Aim for 1/4″ cubes, and be sure your knife is sharp – dull knives tend to mash the tomato, releasing the juices onto the cutting board, which we don’t want.  We want the juices to explode in our mouths with each bite!

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Next, chop up the raw onion and add it to the mix.  An alternative to using raw onion is to saute it lightly before using on the grill – this gives it a less crunchy, but sweeter flavor.

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Add the minced garlic, chopped cilantro, parsley flakes, salt, and pepper to the mix and drizzle with lemon juice.  Blend, and set the topping aside.

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In a medium skillet, brush both sides of each baguette slice (or French bread, or sourdough in my case) with olive oil and heat until both sides are lightly crispy.  On a plate, top each slice with a generous spoonful of bruschetta topping and mozzarella cheese, and serve with prosciutto garnished with cilantro.  Enjoy!

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