3 cups tomatoes – dice large tomatoes and slice cherry tomatoes in half

1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to taste, really. The amount depends on the tomatoes)

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup red onion, finely diced (optional)

Salt and pepper

Mix very gently in bowl, let sit for 20-30 minutes. Do not refrigerate (Avoid refrigerating tomatoes in general – they lose flavor in the cold).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Place baguette slices on baking sheet and brush both sides with butter
Brown in oven, turning slices once so both sides brown evenly
Remove from oven, let sit briefly until they can be handled

Add arugula to tomatoes, tossing very gently

Turn oven up to Broil

Rub browned surface of crostini with cut side of garlic clove, then top crostini with cheese

Return crostini to oven just until cheese is melted

Remove from oven, let cool for a moment

Top crostini with tomato-arugula mixture

Sprinkle with a bit of freshly ground pepper and salt

The tomato-onion mixture is also delicious tossed with pasta (linguine or spaghetti work well here). Let the tomatoes, balsamic and onions marry for a couple of hours, along with 1-2 teaspoons very finely chopped garlic, again. Again, do not refrigerate. Once you’re ready to cook the pasta, add a couple tablespoons finely chopped basil.

When pasta is done, strain and toss immediately with tomato mixture and enough olive oil to give the noodles a bit of sheen. Top with freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino and a bit of pepper. Serve and enjoy immediately.