Bruschetta is a quintessential dish on the menu of Italian restaurants around the world. But you don’t have to leave the house to enjoy this delicious appetiser. Below you’ll discover some fun facts about bruschetta, tips for making it and gourmet recipes that will satisfy your Italian food cravings. Buon appetito!
What is bruschetta?
Bruschetta is an appetiser dish composed of toasted bread that has been rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. It may be topped with any combination of vegetables, cheese and meat. Common toppings include fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and herbs.
Why is it called bruschetta?
Bruschetta gets its name from the Italian verb 'bruscare' which means to 'roast over coals'.
History of Bruschetta
Legend has it that bruschetta dates back to the Etruscan age to the area known today as Tuscany. The history of bruschetta is linked to the harvest of olives and the production of olive oil.
Much like today, locals celebrated the first pressing of olive oil by drizzling the fresh oil over day-old bread that was roasted and rubbed with garlic. This fine snack was accompanied by local wine.
What is the difference between bruschetta and crostini?
Bruschetta is made from thick slices of hearty bread. Crostini features thinner slices of bread usually cut from lighter-textured bread like baguettes. Unlike bruschetta, crostini is not usually rubbed with garlic or coated in olive oil.
What is the best bread for bruschetta?
Since bread is essential to bruschetta it is of utmost importance that it be of good quality. A country-style Italian loaf is preferred, as its texture will hold up to the heat. Sourdough bread is another good option.
What’s the best way to toast the bread?
The best methods for toasting bruschetta bread is to either use a broiler or a grill.
- simply slice the bread
- place it on a sheet pan
- broil for 2 to 3 minutes per side
- remove from the oven when the bread is golden brown
- place the sliced bread on the grill
- cook over medium-low heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side
The bread can also be cooked in a frying pan placed over medium-high heat.
How To Assemble Bruschetta
Once the bread has cooled to the touch, rub a garlic clove over each slice. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Below are some great variations of bruschetta you can enjoy - from simple tomato bruschetta to fancier gourmet versions featuring mushrooms and game.
Tomato bruschetta or bruschetta al pomodoro, as it is known in Italy, is one of the simplest yet tastiest recipes:
- chop Roma tomatoes into a fine dice
- season with salt and pepper
- add a pinch of oregano and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- toss together and dress with plenty of extra virgin olive oil (crushed red peppers are optional)
- allow the tomato mixture to sit while you toast the bread and rub it with garlic
- top the bread with the luscious tomato mixture
- enjoy a fine bite of tomato bruschetta
Tomato Basil Bruschetta with Mozzarella
Fresh mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes, and red onions drizzled with balsamic vinegar sit atop this hearty bruschetta. Serve with plenty of extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil. Find the recipe here
Tomato and Ricotta Bruschetta
This spectacular bruschetta comes to us from Gennaro Contaldo, who is part of Jamie Oliver’s team. Gennaro combines roasted tomatoes with seasoned ricotta and bocconcini mozzarella for a sumptuous appetiser.
Tender, pan-roasted mushrooms are a great topping for bruschetta. You could choose any type of mushroom you like, but below are gourmet bruschetta recipes from two renowned chefs.
Chanterelle Bruschetta is made with sautéed mushrooms, homemade sumac mayonnaise, and garlicky toasted bread. This exclusive recipe comes to us from chef Cliodhna Prendergast, who was one of the speakers at the 2016 Food on the Edge symposium in Galway.
Bruschetta with Roasted Pigeon and Mushrooms
This special bruschetta recipe is perfect for game lovers. It features fender pigeon meat infused with marsala wine and served with crispy pancetta, mushrooms, and swiss chard. It is the creation of British chef Theo Randall.
Avocado bruschetta is delicious, thanks to its mix of crunchy bread, creamy avocado, and fresh mix-ins like diced onion, tomato and cilantro. Enjoy this fun recipe from Kin Community at your next get together.
Smoked salmon, horseradish creme fraiche, and extra virgin olive oil is all you’ll need to make this tasty and easy appetiser. It’s a bruschetta recipe ideal for brunch or holiday parties. Take a look: