Today’s recipe is one of the first recipes I made all those years ago when I first moved out of home. My brother and I were living together, and I wanted to feel a bit grown up. So I made bruschetta. As you do. To me it’s something that’s a little bit classy, but also super simple to make.
I first fell in love with bruschetta when I was a teenager and my family lived in Italy. It’s a weird thing for me to fall in love with, because I don’t particularly like tomatoes. I love tomato sauces, but not the real deal themselves and I especially hate tomatoes in salads. It must be something to do with the olive oil softening the tomatoes in bruschetta that won me over, but it’s one of the few dishes where I will gobble down tomatoes to my heart’s content. Strange.
I have a bit of a bone to pick with the English-speaking world in relation to bruschetta though. Two bones, actually. Having been introduced to bruschetta in the country where it was created, I feel like I was lucky. I was never accustomed to the butchered version of bruschetta that comes out in restaurants in Australia and the UK (and I presume America and Canada too), but that’s also made me a bit of a bruschetta snob.
My first bone to pick with the English-speaking world is with what comes out on the plate: something that’s been mis-labelled as bruschetta. Bruschetta is most definitely not supposed to have onions in it. It’s not supposed to have cheese on it. And it’s not supposed to be just anything that’s stacked on a piece of bread (like mushrooms or eggplant or capsicum or asparagus). It’s just tomatoes, basil, garlic and olive oil. That’s it! Anything else is not bruschetta.
My second bone to pick is with the pronunciation of the word bruschetta. In Italian ‘ch’ forms a ‘k’ sound, which means bruschetta should be pronounced brus-ket-ta, not bru-shet-ta. It irks me every time I hear someone say it like that, and I’m not even Italian!
So please, if you do nothing else with this recipe, just remember my two pointers here and tell your friends. Then tell them to tell their friends and so on and so forth. We may just have the English-speaking world saying and making bruschetta correctly in no time. If only I was the Pioneer Woman and had a bazillion views a day!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
6 slices of ciabatta or other dry Italian bread, sliced diagonally into 2cm thick pieces
2 medium-lagre truss tomatoes, diced
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 clove of garlic, halved
Salt and pepper, to taste
- In a small bowl, combine tomatoes, basil and 1½ tbsp of olive oil. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the softer and tastier the tomatoes will be.
- Preheat grill (broiler), and drizzle remaining olive oil on bread. Place on a baking tray and toast under grill until golden and crisp, about 3-5 minutes.
- When bread is ready, remove from oven and rub garlic on the toasted side of the bread. Spread 2-3 tbsp of tomato mixture onto bread, top with salt and pepper and drizzle with extra olive oil and basil, if desired. Serve immediately.