Classic Bruschetta

Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 9 pieces
Recipe from Jamie Cooks It Up!

1 small loaf crusty bread
butter, softened
1 (10 ounce) package grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 T fresh basil, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Mozzarella cheese (optional, but fabulous)

1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 
2. Find yourself a nice crusty loaf of bread. At my local Smiths Grocery Store (Kroger) they have a great Artisan Bread section, which is where I picked up this treasure. 
3. Slice it into 8-9 pieces.  
4. If you are going to be eating the bruschetta straight out of the oven, I would go ahead and spread just a bit of softened butter on the bottom of each piece of bread. This adds quite a lot to the flavor. However, it gets a bit soggy after 20 minutes or so. If you are taking your bruschetta to a party as a side dish, I would leave the butter off. It will still taste great! Lay the bread slices, butter side down on a large cookie sheet. 
5. Grab a container of grape tomatoes. If you have garden fresh tomatoes (oh, how I greatly covet you!) go ahead and use them. Just beware that some varieties of will release a lot of juice, so be carefull of that. Cut the tomatoes in small pieces, I like mine to be pretty chunky so I just cut these in half. Toss them into a bowl. 
6. Mince up 2 cloves of garlic and add them to the tomatoes. 
7. Take some fresh basil and chop it up into fine pieces. You need about 1 heaping tablespoon. Add it to the bowl. 
8. Drizzle 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil into the tomato mixture. Hit it with some salt and pepper, give everything a nice stir and then taste it. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. 
9. Pop your  bread into the oven for 3-5 minutes or until the top is nice and toasty to the touch. 
10. Carefully spread some of the bruschetta over the top of each toasted slice of bread. Now, please be ware that you can serve it just like this with wonderful results. However, if you want to kick it up a notch sprinkle each piece of bruschetta with grated mozzarella cheese.  
Turn your oven to broil and pop the pan back in for just a few minutes. You want the cheese to melt and get a bit bubbly for you. 

Either way, plain or with a bit of melted cheese...I think you are going to be happy with the result.