Bruschetta: Delicious in its Simplicity

Bruschetta and beer: the best night out with friends


The word "bruschetta" (pronounced br-oo-sk-ai-ta) has its origins in central Italy, and it's a slice of toasted bread.

Toasting the bread on the grill gives it a particular fragrance, but with an oven or a broiler you can obtain the same good result.


It's believed that this poor man's food was born as a snack for share croppers and farmers working in the fields,  It was prepared with homemade, sometimes stale, bread and flavored with olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and tomato.

These are the basic ingredients of bruschetta. However, today the ways to prepare it and variations in circulation are truly endless.


For a proper preparation of bruschetta it is necessary to slightly grill the surface of the bread, taking care that it remains soft inside. Tuscan bread, with its large loaf and often square form, lends itself particularly well because it can be easily cut into slices.

These should be fairly thick, surrounded by a quite hard but crunchy crust, with a soft, white crumb, and small and regular cavities (suitable to absorb the oil). These, once grilled, although well seasoned with oil, will be stiff and easily manageable. It 's a bread that stays good for a long time and so it is ideal to be used to prepare this dish, even if it's not freshly baked. If you consider that in the past, especially in very poor rural areas of Italy, often one had little more than this, it is understandable how bruschetta often became a full dinner and not just a snack or appetizer.


Classic Bruschetta snack


Let's talk about garlic. Remember that is absolutely forbidden to overuse it. One clove is enough for more than one slice and according to Tuscan custom, you just pass it on the borders if the warm bread. So the garlic should not be used as a cream or powder, as is often the US habit.


Bruschetta's main seasoning is a very good extra virgin olive oil. Any lesser quality oil is not suitable.


The oil fragrances vary according to the area of origin, as well as its texture, density and acidity. Consider trying the oil from Puglia, Sicily and Calabria. Remember that if you use too much garlic you risk to cover the aroma and fragrance of the oil you've used. The breadcrumb should be oiled well, but not dripping wet and it should be seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper to enhance aroma and flavor.


The same remark about garlic, in my opinion, goes also for the other ingredients - less is more.


The various "innovations", from anchovies with capers, cheese, any flavorful sauce, are to be added in quantities that give flavor and color, but not in doses which will cover any other flavoring. You certainly have seen some "creative" bruschettas with huge amounts of various ingredients.


Normally, the unfortunate consumer does not know how to take a bite off of a very big bruschetta. They begin to eat the bruschetta and in the meanwhile the ingredients start to slip everywhere. They try to stem the fall with a napkin, and in the meanwhile the oil and tomatoes are smeared on the other hand; or if the bruschetta is not too large, they try to open thier mouth as much as possible and eat it in one bite. A real disaster! So the golden rule is simplicity. Instead of using a thousand ingredients all together, maybe it's better to prepare some more bruschettas, each one different from the other one.


Below there are some suggestions for preparing your bruschetta, from the more traditional to the more fanciful.




Tomato Bruschetta

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 4 slices of Tuscan bread
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • basil leaves
  • extra virgin oil
  • salt and pepper



Wash the tomatoes, blanch them briefly in boiling water, drain, remove the peel, the seeds and the water inside. Cut them into cubes and collect them in a bowl.

Wash the basil leaves, dry them and add them to the tomatoes. Sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper. Stir and let it marinate for about an hour.

Toast the bread in the oven, rub each slice with the garlic and add the tomato. Serve the bruschettas warm or cold, as preferred.


Bruschetta with Anchovies

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 4 slices of Tuscan bread
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 1 garlic clove
  • chopped parsley
  • 1 little fresh onion
  • extra virgin oil
  • salt and pepper


Sauté the garlic in the oil, and when it turns a nice golden color take it out of the pan and add the anchovies and let them dissolve completely. Cut the tomatoes into round slices, remove the seeds and put them on the freshly baked bread, adding salt. Cut the onion in very thin rings and with these cover the tomatoes. Add the sauce and complete the bruschettas with a pinch of pepper and chopped parsley.


Fig and goat cheese bruschetta


Bruschetta with Bresaola and Goat cheese

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 4 slices of Tuscan bread
  • 8 slices of bresaola
  • 2 small goat cheeses
  • Some leaves of arugala
  • extra virgin oil
  • salt
  • lemon juice


Season the arugala with oil, salt and lemon. Toast the bread, spread the goat cheese on the bread. Then add the slices of bresaola on the bread and finally the seasoned rocket.


Bruschetta with Rosemary and Lardo di Colonnata

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 4 slices of Tuscan bread
  • 100 grams of lardo of Colonnata
  • pepper
  • a litte twig of rosemary
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • garlic (optional)



Bruschettas with lardo of Colonnata (special lard from the pigs from Colonnata, a little tuscan town) and rosemary are very special dishes for an appetizer or a starter. The essential ingredient for obtaining a very good bruschetta is the very delicate lardo of Colonnata. It must be cut in very thin slices to be put on the toasted bread. On top of the lardo put ground pepper and a few sections of tomato. Finally add the chopped rosemary. Serve the bruschettas immediately, still warm.

If you like garlic, before putting the lardo slices on the bread, you can rub lightly each slice of bread with a clove of fresh garlic.


The bruschetta is easy to prepare and depending on the size of the bread and the toppings, it makes a great snack, starter or full meal!

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