½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated or oil-packed, cut into thin strips
1 head roasted garlic
1 Tbsp. dried basil leaves
2-3 Tbsp. extra-virgin or fruity olive oil
2-3 Tbsp. balsamic or good-quality red wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 bunch fresh basil, leaves only
In a non-reactive bowl, combine the fresh and sun-dried tomatoes.
Remove the cloves of garlic from the bulb with a knife tip or squeeze the garlic from the husk.
Stir into the tomatoes and add the dried basil with 1-2 Tbsp. each of the olive oil and vinegar.
Season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture rest for several minutes to allow the juices and flavors to blend.
Taste and adjust the flavors. If it’s too acidic, add a little more oil. More vinegar will increase tanginess. At this point you can store it for one week. To keep the fresh basil from darkening, it should be added just before serving. Stack and roll the basil leaves like a cigar. Use a sharp knife to cut across the roll, making very fine strips called chiffonade. Add the basil to the mixture.
To toast the baguette
Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
Cut the bread into ¼ inch thick slices. Cutting on the diagonal creates an attractive elongated shape.
Brush one side of each slice lightly with oil.
Toast on a baking sheet in a single layer. For a crunchy version, toast both sides. The edges should be golden. For a more interesting flavor, grill the bread.
Spread the baguette slices with the tomato mixture.