Bruschetta (/bruːˈskɛtə/, /bruːˈʃɛtə/, Italian pronunciation: bruˈsketta) is a popular Italian dish which is served as a starter. The name Bruschetta means ‘to toast’ or ‘to roast over coals’. This dish was probably first developed as a way to salvage stale bread!
Bruschetta makes for a very easy, quick and colorful party starter. The best part is that the bread can be cut and toasted in advance and kept. And the filling can be made as well earlier and kept separately. So all you need to do before serving is to assemble them. Or you can have your guests make their own Bruschetta..;)
I usually use a baguette to make Bruschetta. But if you dont have it handy, then fret not! Just use a regular bread and cut into triangles, squares or rectangles and use it.
Few things to keep in mind
- Prepare before hand: Bruschetta can be prepared before hand for a party and kept. The bread can be toasted and prepared separately and the toppings can be made and kept separately. And it can be assembled just before serving.
- Don’t assemble before hand: You can prepare before hand, but don’t assemble..:) The bread can become soggy if the topping is left on it for a long while. So assemble or let your guests make their own bruschettas with the toppings!!
For the base
- Baguette – 1 loaf, sliced into 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces
- Olive oil – for brushing
- Garlic – couple of cloves
For the topping
- Tomatoes – 2 large, cut into small cubes
- Basil leaves – sliced thin
- Vinegar – 1 tbsp
- Salt – as per taste
- Chilli flakes – as per taste
- Olive Oil – 1 tbsp
- Garlic, thinly sliced – 2 cloves
Step by Step Process
- Heat a flat pan. Brush olive oil on both sides of the baguette slices and toast it on both sides on the pan. You can dry toast the baguette slices also.
- Alternatively, you can also toast it in the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 deg C. Brush olive oil on both sides of the baguette slices and place it on a baking tray. Bake this in the preheated oven for about 15 min, turning half way through, till both sides are toasted.
- In a mixing bowl, mix the tomatoes, basil leaves, vinegar, salt and chilli flakes together.
- In a pan, heat the olive oil and fry the thinly sliced garlic till golden. Let the oil cool down and then mix it into the tomatoes and toss till well coated.
- Let this mixture rest till the baguette pieces are toasted and cooled down.
- To assemble, take the garlic cloves (mentioned under the ingredient list for making the base), dip it in olive oil and rub it on all the baguette slices.
- Spoon the tomato mix on top and your Bruschetta is ready to be served.
- Take care not to leave the baguette with the tomato mix out for long as it will get soggy. Its best when served immediately.
Bruschetta can be made with any other topping of your choice as well. The tomatoes, garlic and basil flavors are the standard topping used for a Brushetta. And you need not wait for a party to make this…:) I make this for the kids as an evening after-school snack and they love it!