I absolutely love tomatoes! As a child growing up, I would eat a whole tomato like it was an apple. Nowadays, you won’t find me biting into whole tomatoes as much, but my love for them is definitely one of the reasons why I chose to make this recipe the first Jamaican-Italian fusion dish featured on our blog.
This dish uses simple ingredients and is also very simple to make. It’s a spin on the traditional Italian tomato bruschetta. For those of you who may not know what bruschetta is, it’s bread (usually a rustic Italian bread) that’s been toasted or grilled and is typically served with tomatoes or a variety of other toppings. As I searched for tomato topping recipes, I was actually surprised to see how many versions of them existed.
There is no limit on what you can add to the tomato mixture. You can get as creative as you’d like – and many people take the liberty to do just that.
The truth of the matter is that the makings of a good tomato topping for a bruschetta come down to four ingredients – tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, and a pinch of salt. You’d be amazed at the outstanding dishes you can make with just a few quality ingredients!
In today’s post, we’re incorporating a taste of Jamaica into the classic tomato bruschetta antipasto (“appetizer” in Italian) by using green plantain instead of bread. I hope you enjoy the flavor and texture combinations this fusion appetizer offers – bringing a little bit of the Caribbean to the Mediterranean.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 – 15 minutes
Marinate: 45 minutes (optional, but highly recommended)
Serving Size: 12 – 15 servings
2 large green plantains
3 Roma tomatoes (ripe)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 – 3 cloves garlic – sliced in half
6 fresh basil leaves (I used more because I really enjoy basil!)
Sea salt (about ½ teaspoon or to taste)
Balsamic glaze (optional, but highly recommended)
Traditional Italian tomato bruschetta topping:
- Start by chopping the tomatoes into even-sized pieces and place them in a medium-sized bowl. With your hands (don’t use a knife), rip the basil leaves into small pieces. Gently stir together the tomatoes and basil and then form a dome with the mixture.
- Drizzle about 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the dome and then sprinkle the salt on top. Do not stir in the olive oil or salt. Set aside, uncovered, at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour to marinate (or as long as you have!)
Fried green plantains (prepared Jamaican style):
- Wash green plantains and use a knife to peel off the skin. Slice into oblong pieces and place on paper towel until ready to cook. (pictured above, top row left and center)
- Heat up the frying pan, add the oil and let it continue to heat up until a more constant oil temperature is reached.
- Add the plantains and fry for 2 – 4 minutes on each side.
- Remove the plantain from the pan and mash it using a rolling pin until your desired size. (pictured above, top row right)
- Return it to the pan and continue frying until golden brown. (pictured above, bottom row left)
- Remove from the pan and place on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. (pictured above, bottom row right)
How it all comes together:
- Slice the raw garlic cloves in half. Gently rub the fried green plantain on both sides with the cut end of a raw garlic clove.
- Top each slice with marinated tomatoes. Drizzle more of the extra-virgin olive oil and add the balsamic drizzle, if desired, and any additional basil or salt on top. Enjoy immediately while the fried green plantain is still slightly warm.
If you make this recipe, we’d love to see pics of your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Hashtag them #fromirietoitaly