This Tomato, Raisin & Pine Nut Bruschetta is my friend John Bird’s recipe and the trick to it is to slowly stew the tomatoes. It can be eaten warm or prepared in advance and eaten at room temperature. In Tuscany, the bread is toasted on a charcoal grill, but it is just as good done under the broiler or in a toaster.
- Heat the olive oil over a medium-high heat. When it starts to ripple, add the shallots and pepper flakes. Cook, stirring until the shallots are transparent and starting to color slightly. Add the tomatoes and a pinch of sea salt.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook until the tomatoes start to lose their juices and the mixture thickens a little, about 10 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes should now be a deep orangey red. Stir in the raisins and pine nuts.
- Cook stirring occasionally for another 10 to15 minutes, or until the raisins have plumped slightly and mixture has thickened. Taste for salt, and set aside to let cool slightly.
- Brush the bread slices with a little olive oil and toast both sides until it has colored slightly. If using a grill, toast just until grill marks appear. Spread the bread slices with the tomato mixture and serve.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for the bread
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 1 small dried red pepper, broken up, seeds removed
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes, washed and quartered
- Sea salt, to taste
- ½ cup Thompson raisins
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 12 ½-inch slices of good quality artisan bread, like baguette or ciabatta