WHAT IS A BRUSCHETTA?
What pain perdu (French toast) is to bread recycling in France, bruschetta is to Italy. This more savory take is an antipasto (appetizer) that is is rubbed with olive oil and garlic and then grilled. Then a variety of simple toppings are added and much like a Spanish tapas, served as finger food. However this recipe is not meant to be a complicated sandwich that’s gone bald. It is meant to be a celebration of various (mostly raw) ingredients like tomato, cheese or simple herbs like basil. Even a meat pate can qualify in certain parts of Italy. Supposedly this recipe dates back to ancient Rome when customers would taste an olive oil’s quality by dipping a slice of bread into it.
WHERE IS THE BEST BRUSCHETTA MADE?
Traditionally this is considered more of a Tuscan dish. However Rome is not only the capital of Italy but of all Italian food as well. Try Da Armando al Pantheon . If making this at home go with the best quality bread possible to complement the delicious vegetables, charcuterie and oils on top!
WHAT KIND OF FLOUR AND STARTER SHOULD I USE?
This is made from finished bread so no flour or starter is needed. Different types of bread ranging from Italian, sourdough or even French baguettes are totally acceptable to use.
HOW SHOULD BRUSCHETTA BE STORED?
It shouldn’t as it is grilled and then served while still hot.
WHAT IS THE SECRET TO MAKING THE PERFECT BRUSHETTA?
It is all about balance and harmony between the ingredients. While this might sound obvious, using a green versus a ripe tomato is a common mistake. Does your olive oil have flavor or does it taste like something leftover from a local fast food fryer? The mix of cooked (bread) and raw, spicy and fatty are all meant to come together not fight with each other. And remember, a bruschetta is a larger, grilled piece of bread with suitable toppings while a crostini is smaller and toasted though also served with toppings as a finger food.