Grandpa’s Tomato Mint Sauce On Bruschetta (“bru-sketta”)

1 T. kosher salt
2 large cloves garlic, cut in half
¼ cup fresh mint leaves
2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into quarters
¼ tsp. ground black pepper
½ cup extra virgin olive oil

In a mortar and pestle or with a wooden spoon in a small bowl, combine the salt and garlic. Grind the garlic, using the pestle or the back of the wooden spoon, until the garlic is almost a puree. This takes a little “elbow grease”, but the garlic will eventually become soft. Add the mint and crush the leaves with the pestle until fragrant, add the cut tomatoes and again, with the pestle, crush the tomatoes until they are incorporated into the garlic and mint. Crush in the pepper and then add the olive oil until all the ingredients are incorporated into a sauce. (This entire process takes about 10 minutes, so don’t lose your patience.) Taste for seasoning. Use the tomato mint sauce on grilled chicken, steaks or lamb. Makes about 1 cup sauce.

Note: If you don’t have a mortar or pestle, or the time, the process can be done in a food processor, but the texture will be different. The flavors are still wonderful, though!

Bruschetta (“Bru – Sketta”)
1 loaf thin French bread, cut into ½” thick slices, grilled or baked until golden
8 oz. goat cheese log, cut into thin slices
1 cup tomato mint sauce (recipe above)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
mint sprigs for garnish

Place the bread on work surface; top with the slices of goat cheese (or if the cheese is really soft, spread it on the bread), top cheese with a teaspoon of tomato mint sauce, and place two tomato halves on each bread slice. Garnish with mint sprig. Serve at once.
Makes about 24 slices of bruschetta.

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