WEEKEND CHEF | Eat clean and healthy with this easy bruschetta recipe

Weekend Chef's healthy bruschetta with fresh tomatoes, basil, and cheese. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

After indulging excessively in food last Christmas season, it is now time to sober up and start eating light and healthy to compensate for it. You can start with breakfast. Instead of taking a heavy rice meal, such as tapsilog (tapa, sinangag at itlog), for breakfast, go light with slices of bread with tomato, basil leaves and cheese topping.

It’s called bruschetta, and it is my go-to breakfast or snack food. Besides being easy to prepare, bruschetta tastes good and you can make a lot of variations depending on the toppings that you use. Basic bruschetta is diced tomatoes, basil chiffonade, grated or shredded cheese, fresh garlic, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper. But you can also add sliced mushrooms, chopped cooked shrimps, blanched spinach and several other fresh ingredients.

For the toasted bread base, the best option is baguette sliced diagonally into one-inch thick slices. But I oftentimes use batard because I have a favorite whole wheat batard which I buy from the supermarket. It works as well as a French baguette for Bruschetta.

Now that a New Year has begun, I have put Bruschetta back on my breakfast menu. This version of mine is as easy as you can go with Bruschetta.

2 pcs. ripe tomatoes
salt and pepper
6-7 pcs. fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
6 slices baguette or batard
extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves fresh garlic, peeled

1. Wash and pat-dry tomatoes. Slice, remove seeds, and then dice the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Step 1. Slice tomatoes, remove seeds, and dice. Set aside. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

2. Prepare basil chiffonade. Place basil leaves one on top of the other.

3. Roll like a cigar.

4. Slice into very thin strips or chiffonade.

Step 4. Roll basil leaves and, using chiffonade cut, slice thinly. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

5. Separate the strips.

6. Grate or shred your Parmesan cheese if it is whole.

7. Lightly toast bread.

8. Rub one side of the toasted bread slices with fresh garlic clove to give the bread a hint of garlic
flavor and aroma.

9. Sprinkle with a little shredded cheese.

Step 9. On toasted bread rubbed with garlic, sprinkle grated cheese. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

10. Then layer with diced tomatoes, basil chiffonade and more cheese.

Step 10. Add diced tomatoes, basil chiffoande, and more cheese. Drizzle with EVOO. Toast bruschetta till cheese melts. Best served hot. Photo by Dolly Dy-Zulueta for InterAksyon.

11. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

12. Toast for 2 minutes and enjoy!

Makes 6 bruschettas.