EXT. LOS ANGELES CITY STREETS–DAY
Caryn weaves the old Honda through the ever-present traffic of the city. It was a nice car in its day, but that day has long passed. She turns the radio up to drown out the noise of her brakes as she squawks to a halt at a red light.
The MAN in the polished Mercedes next to her scowls at the Honda, baffled that any car can make the exact noise of an ailing heifer. Caryn turns away to avoid eye contact when she spots a sign on her left that reads “La Brea Bakery.” She sits up in her seat.
The light changes, but Caryn whips her car between oncoming traffic and into the valet parking lot of the bakery. She hops out and dashes to the store, calling back to the valet ATTENDANTS.
I’ll only be a minute!
The attendants shake their heads in wonder, but before they can gripe, she returns and is squawking the car back into traffic.
She can’t wait. She opens the bag from the bakery to reveal a loaf of bread that looks like any country loaf. But when she tears off an end, soft, perfumed cloves of garlic appear from their hidden caverns inside.
Caryn nibbles on her bread as if it was her only ration for the week.
INT. CARYN’S DUPLEX APARTMENT–KITCHEN–NIGHT
A pile of tomatoes drains on the counter while Caryn minces fresh garlic. A buzzer on the fridge goes off and she dashes to the oven to remove a cookie sheet of small bread slices. Olive oil has painted the surfaces of the toasted slices a tender green.
Punky paces the area around his food bowls, occasionally letting out a piercing MEOW to let Caryn (and the neighborhood) know that he is hungry.
Caryn puts the bread slices piled high with cheese and a tomato mixture in the oven. It is no time before she pulls the cookie sheet out again, the bruschetta now glistening with the tomatoes and the cheese lovingly melted over the sides.
She tosses some fresh, torn basil over the bruschetta and sits down to escape the headache of the city. As she sinks her teeth into the first, crusty slice, the phone rings, pulling her back to reality. She reaches for the phone and Punky seizes the opportunity to steal his own slice of bliss from Caryn’s plate…
3-4 medium tomatoes
1 fresh country loaf of bread (or other rustic loaf)
4-6 oz. whole-milk mozzarella**
2 garlic cloves, minced
6-10 basil leaves
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Peel, core and chop the tomatoes. Lightly salt the chopped tomatoes and place in a colander. Set colander over a bowl to catch juice. Let sit for 30 minutes.
3. Slice loaf into 4 thick slices and then cut slices in half. Depending on the size of the loaf, slices should be a little larger than bite-size. Brush olive oil on both sides of the bread and place the slices on a cookie sheet. Bake until lightly toasted, about 5-10 minutes.
4. Cut mozzarella into slices to fit each bread slice, up to 1/4” thick.
5. Mix tomatoes and garlic together and drizzle with a little olive oil.
6. Top each toasted bread slice with mozzarella and a generous spoonful of the tomato mixture.
7. Bake until cheese melts and begins to brown, about 10-15 minutes. It’s okay to boost the oven temperature a bit to decrease cooking time—just make sure the bread doesn’t burn on the bottom.
8. Tear basil leaves over the tops of the bruschetta and serve
**Whole-milk mozzarella melts faster and more evenly than part-skim, which means it starts to get that brown, bubbly crust before the rest of the food becomes overcooked.