Classic and Tomato Bruschetta Recipes
Bruschetta is a delicious Italian appetizer and the most traditional bruschetta recipes are the classic extra virgin olive oil and the chopped tomato and fresh basil. Bruschetta perfectly embodies Italy’s key culinary ideas of simplicity, quality and, importantly, avoiding waste. Although composed of little more than toasted bread and some well-chosen toppings, it is much, much, more than the sum of its parts. As a quick-fix option for an appetizer, lunch or snack it is worth knowing a little bit more about how to prepare this delicious Italian recipe.
Watch Foodie Sisters, Benedetta and Valeria, show you how simple it is to make 2 different bruschetta recipes: Classic bruschetta and Tomato bruschetta.
The idea of pairing bread and oil can be traced back to ancient times when olive producers would take bread to the mill to taste their new olive oil. Bruschetta as we know it today probably originated in the 15th century and the name likely derives from either the Roman dialect word for ‘to toast’ which is bruscare or the name of a brush used to groom horses and cattle called a brusca. Throwing away food was (and still is) considered a sin in Italy, especially in those times of hardship, so bruschetta was a way of creating a delicious dish with old bread and bits and pieces. Even nowadays many Italians, particularly in the south, will kiss bread before throwing it away as a way of asking for forgiveness and it remains a key ingredient in amazing dishes such as panzanella (a salad of soaked bread and tomatoes), ribollita (a Tuscan soup of bread and vegetables), meatballs, and of course bruschetta.
Although bruschetta is now found all over the world, the majority of people pronounce the word incorrectly. In Italian, the letters -che make a ‘ke’ sound, so you need to be asking for bru-sketta and not the more common foreign pronunciation of bru-shetta!
The preparation of bruschetta is very simple, it requires just a good bread which should be sturdy enough to hold its toppings, so avoid using anything too soft. It should have a tight crumb and a good, dark, crust so do not try to use your everyday white sliced loaf. Rustic or sourdough loaves work wonderfully, in Italy look for pane casareccio, and preferably you should slice it yourself so that it is not too thin. Hard, day-old bread is fine as the liquid from the oil and toppings will soften the texture. You can toast it on a grill, bbq, dry frying pan, griddle pan or even in the oven, but try to catch it at the perfect time when it turns golden and the edges begin to darken, you need some crispiness!
Slices of bread
Once the bread has been toasted, you simply need to rub it with a clove of garlic, add a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil, and a sprinkle of salt. This is all it takes to prepare a classic bruschetta.
Slices of bread
Extra virgin olive oil
Chop the tomatoes and fresh basil. Add extra virgin olive oil and salt and set aside. Once the bread has been toasted, rub it with a clove of garlic and top it with the chopped tomato sauce. It is important to eat the bruschetta straight away before the oil and liquids penetrate the bread and make it soggy.
When it comes to traditional Italian recipes, we always turn to our favorite Italian cookbook, ‘Il Talismano della Felicità’, as we did for these bruschetta recipes.