Back in the day, my favorite restaurant for a date night with my husband or with a girlfriend, was Vera. It was located on Lake Street in the West Loop and it was perfection. The food, the ambiance, the servers, even the little twinkling lights they had hanging from the bar were absolutely magical. When you were there, it felt like nothing else mattered. Vera was a little nook of a restaurant. Then one day, they closed the doors forever and I went into a deep depression.
Ok, that was a little dramatic. But the truth is, I was so sad that I would never have their “tomato bread” again. That specific bite had been a favorite of mine for years.
How in the world would I ever recreate such a simple delicacy?!
Well, bring in my hygge guru, Jenna. We’re chatting tomatos one day when she tells me that she likes to take an heirloom tomato and add it to toasted bread with some garlic. She basically asked me to marry her at the very moment.
Trust me, I know how simple this recipe sounds, but the trick is in the quality of the ingredients.
I went straight to the farmer’s market and bought myself some goofy looking heirlooms and a loaf of delicious sour dough bread. It took some trial and error, but with some effort and imagination, I created the closest bite to Vera’s tomato bread that I could ever imagine.
It’s juicy, crunchy, garlicy, and GD delicious! One bite of this toast will have you wanting more in an instant!
Garlic tomato toast is perfect for a light lunch or a side to a delicious salad or soup. As I mentioned, quality ingredients matter with this recipe, so don’t be a butthead. Get the good stuff.
Trust me when I tell you, this rustic concoction will have your tastebuds going bananas. It’s so simple, it’s almost stupid. But aren’t the best recipes?!
Ladies and gentlemen, prepare for flavor explosion….
Here is what you’ll need!
A good bread! I love sourdough, but anything with a good crust for the crunch will get the job done.
Heirloom tomato, thinly sliced. The funkier looking the better!
1 clove of garlic, peeled, left whole
Olive oil of good quality
Set your oven to broil on high. While your oven is heating up, peel your clove of garlic and use a serated knife to thinly (and I mean thinly) slice your juicy, beautiful heirloom tomato.
Once your oven is ready, place your sliced bread on a rack and standy by. Literally, stand right by your oven because you don’t want your bread to burn, which it can do so easily if you get distracted.
Let your bread broil for 30 seconds or so, then flip it. Another 30 seconds will have your slice perfectly ready.
Personally, I love for the edges of my bread to be slightly burnt so it’s crunchy.
Take your slice out and while it’s still hot (be careful of your little fingers) rub your raw garlic clove over the edges first. This tip is imperative. You want those edges to be blasted with garlic. Then go ahead and run the garlic all over the face of it.
Place your thinly sliced tomato on your bread, drizzle a touch of oil, and add some salt.
Prepare for what is about to happen in your mouth.
The last time I made this for Anthony, he took one bite and said, Jesus Christ.