I ordered bruschetta (pronounced brusketta) in Verona, Italy one year and I was surprised to find that it was served on thick soft bread, not toasted. I prefer the toasted variety. Of course, eating it under the umbrellas on the seaside of Vernazza, Cinque Terre enhanced the flavors.
Making bruschetta. Toast, rub, anoint in that order. Rub bread with garlic, anoint with extra virgin olive oil. Chopped tomatoes with finely chopped onions. Top with fresh mozzarella, capers, fresh basil and pesto, fresh arugula, shaved Reggio parmigiano cheese. I like to have the cooking channel on while I cook
Bruschetta recipe: (one of hundreds)
Toast. Anoint. Rub.
6- ripe plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbl extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
small onion chopped
pesto (basil paste) or 6 chopped fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 450.
Italian bread sliced medium thick (about 1/2 inch) on diagonal as in photo above. Tomatoes cooked in water for about a minute. Then remove skin and seeds. Or just use fresh tomatoes. Chop. Mix tomatoes, garlic, 1 Tbl evoo (extra virgin olive oil) and vinegar, and onion to taste. Add the fresh basil, salt and freshly ground pepper.
Next, toast bread dry on a griddle about 1 minute each side. With a knife make a couple small diagonal cuts in bread, then rub with garlic clove. Brush evoo on top.
Place bread in serving dish olive oil side up. Add tomato mixture, and a small dollop of pesto or chopped basil leaves. Prepare this right before serving as the tomatoes could make the bread soggy. Fun to serve this as appetizer with wine as guests arrive.
A wonderful bruschetta recipe book is Bruschetta, Crostini and Other Italian Snacks by Maxine Clark.
Italy is surrounded by the sea, so fish and frutti di mare (seafood) is plentiful all along the coastlines. Above is a seafood platter from Monterosso in the Cinque Terre, which includes anchovy, octopus, shrimp, and potatoes.
Formaggio everywhere in Italy. This photo was taken in a lovely store in Southern Tuscany in Montepulciano, Italy where samples of cheese, wine and bruschetta toppings greet you on a table at the door. Cheese heaven and customs allows you to bring cheese home in your suitcase!
Sweets displayed in the window are almost as satisfying as eating them. This is a definite help to living ‘la dolce vita’, the sweet life!
What is your favorite Italian food?
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