This was my first course in neighborhood recipe dynamics. I got it from Pierces Inn, and they later scoffed at taking any credit since they got it from another neighbor in Etna. As I let myself become locally famous for my bruschetta another neighbor went to visit my parents in Squaw Valley where he rode the funky tram-like gondola called the Funitel. In a flash of inspiration the next time I saw him, on our patio enjoying said dish, he dubbed it “Funitella,” which sort of tied it to my Squaw Valley roots. It later became funitella bruschetta, which gave a better clue about the recipe type, while also sounding like a stripper or a hot Austin Powers agent.
- 35 oz canned tomatoes, well drained over a sieve. (Petite dice is ideal but not necessary. I use a combi of regular, and burgundy+olive oil, or Italian herb tomatoes)
- ½ cup olive oil (I use a bit less)
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (I use more…enough that Pierce’s Inn disowns the recipe as made by me. Your call to taste.)
- 4 garlic cloves minced or pressed
- A good handful fresh basil, chopped fine
- Coarse salt and pepper to taste
- Chunk of feta cheese (enough to crumble over the bottom surface of your dish)
Mix all ingredients except feta. Let it sit awhile if you can to combine flavors. Crumble feta in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 20 minutes. Top with shaved Parmesan if desired. Serve on top of bruschetta toasts (ideally made from easiest french bread ever).
I always serve it in the Simon Pearce round white dish the fabulous Suzi gave me. It just seems better in a friend’s dish. You can also bring it deconstructed, in separate containers and quickly assemble it at your destination. Any leftover tomatoes are awesome in omelets, quesadillas, salads, etc.