Bruschetta is one of the simplest and quickest things in the world to make, yet it can be fantastically delicious if you use high-quality ingredients.
There are many different varieties of bruschetta, though sometimes they might be called crostini or crostoni instead (crostini being small versions made from cross-sections of a baguette and crostoni being very large slices).
But the most well-known version is simply grilled slices of bread, rubbed with raw garlic and topped with chopped tomatoes, fresh basil, and salt.
The ideal preparation is to grill the slices on a charcoal grill, so these would be a great starter for any summer cookout or barbecue. A rosato (rosé) or a lambrusco would be a great wine pairing with this summery treat.
(Note that the correct way to pronounce it is: brew-SKEH-tah, rather than brew-SHEH-duh.)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (high-quality extra-virgin, try to find a nice fruity one)
- 2 to 3 tomatoes (very ripe and flavorful, or you can use cherry tomatoes, chopped)
- 4 slices of Tuscan bread (cut 6-inch-wide, or any other rustic Italian loaf)
- 1 clove garlic (sliced in half)
- Garnish: salt (coarse, flaky Maldon salt works really well for this)
- Garnish: basil leaves (fresh, chopped)
- Marinate the chopped tomatoes in some of the extra-virgin olive oil for about 10 minutes.
- Toast the bread slices on a charcoal grill until golden-brown and lightly marked with grill lines. (You can also toast them in an oven or toaster if grilling is not possible).
- Then gently rub the grilled slices of bread with the cut end of a raw garlic clove that you have sliced in half.
- Top each slice with the marinated tomatoes and a sprinkling of coarse sea salt and chopped fresh basil leaves. Add a light drizzle of a bit more of the extra-virgin olive oil, if desired.
- Cut each slice in half and serve immediately.
- If you omit the tomatoes and basil and just drizzle the garlic-rubbed toasted slices with extra-virgin olive oil, you have what is called fettunta (literally, "oily slice") in Tuscany, or the Italian version of garlic bread.
- Romans top their bruschetta with anchovies and fresh mozzarella.
- Sicilians might use fresh oregano instead of fresh basil.
- Another Tuscan favorite is white cannellini beans on top of the bruschetta instead of tomatoes, topped with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- A winter version of Tuscan-style bruschetta incorporates boiled dinosaur (also known as Tuscan or lacinato) kale (cavolo nero).
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||14 g|
|Saturated Fat||2 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||10 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|