I will let you in on a little secret . . . I don't like uncooked tomatoes. There, I said it! The only place I eat raw tomatoes is in Italy.
I ate my first tomato 12 years ago. Hubs ordered bruschetta al pomodoro and I cringed when I saw a plate loaded with chopped tomatoes sitting atop toasted bread brought to our table. What was I going to do? I didn't want to offend the cook by not eating it! Hubs, on the other hand, had no problem eating it. He was having a love affair with every bite! His moaning about how good and sweet the tomatoes were was a little like a When Harry Met Sally moment!
Really? I scraped all but a few small tomato pieces off the toast and took a bite. Huh . . . not bad. Another bite. OK . . . maybe it's a little sweet. Another bite with a few more tomatoes pieces. You're right, hubs (of course, I didn't say that aloud!) . . . it was good! Now, I can't get enough bruschetta al pomodoro!
I still prefer bruschetta al pomodoro in Italy. Why? In Italy, the tomatoes are fresh, straight from the garden. Whereas I'm sure my supermarket tomatoes were picked early and ripened on the truck in route to the store. It makes a difference.
Since I can't get fresh-picked tomatoes (althought I'm attempting to grow my own this year), I marinate my supermarket tomatoes for a few hours before making bruschetta. I simply chop the tomatoes, sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper; toss and marinate in the refrigerator.
Just before assembly, I toast slices of country bread brushed with olive oil. Then, I rub a piece of garlic on the bread as soon as it is removed from the oven. Top the toast with the tomato mixture, sprinkle with fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Ecco: the raw tomato dish I now have a love affair with!
By the way, in Italy, bruschetta is pronounced broo-skeh-tah. Hubs may as well have been speaking Greek when he order broo-sheh-tah that day 12 years ago! The server had no idea what he was saying!