Traditional Bruschetta Recipe
Traditional Bruschetta is a typical Italian farmer dish. Widespread in Italy, it was born for the necessity of farmers to preserve bread. Nowadays it is mostly served as a fast appetizer. The name bruschetta originates from the ancient Roman “brusco” which means “toasted” and was prepared as a toasted bread with olive oil.
You have to remember the plural of bruschetta is bruschette so that’s what we will be using when referring to more than one bruschetta. Also, who only makes one bruschetta? It’s one of those snacks you either make for your family or for a party. One simply is not enough.
Bruschetta is another one of those simple Italian pleasures. The first sweet, crunchy, oily bite is an unexpected bit of perfection. The first time I saw Giuseppe make brushette I thought, that’s it? This can’t be that good, there are barely any ingredients in that. It was delicious.
From July to October, you can often find us sitting out front eating bruschetta for a mid-day snack. No matter if we are in California or Calabria we are eating bruschetta, a little slice of heaven.
Traditionally in Italy bruschetta is served with a normal loaf of Italian bread. Unfortunately, it’ a bit hard to find this kind of bread here in the U.S. We suggest checking with your local bakery, supermarket, or making it yourself.
The bread should be cut into large thick slices that will toast well. We also highly recommend using a toaster, but if you’re in a pinch the oven will do.
The secret of a good bruschetta:
First, the olive oil. An exceptional Extra Virgin Olive Oil to follow the ancient Roman tradition. Legend states during the ancient Roman Empire, farmers would press their olives and immediately test the ‘olio nuevo’ (freshly pressed olive oil) on bruschette. Apparently, this was the best way to understand if the oil was any good. Today we don’t consume much ‘olio nuevo’, read more about that here, but we do have extensive lab testing and tasting panels.
Second, good Tomatoes, we use fresh delicious tomatoes from our backyard. But as Ina Garton would say “store bought will do.”
A confession: when it’s not tomato season, we too go to the store. Oh the horror.
When to Serve Bruschetta
Bruschetta is great for an everyday snack, appetizer, or bites at a party. It’s an easy crowd pleaser and who doesn’t love toasted Italian bread? However, we do have one small warning: If you plate bruschetta too early the bread gets soggy. Don’t do it! Bruschetta should be plated immediately before consumption. This is a fresh light dish that should be made shortly before serving to guests (30 minutes). The tomatoes will get liquidy and soggy if you prepare this too far in advance.
If you are worried about timing, toast the bread ahead of time and get one of your lovely guests to cut up the ingredients and mix in a bowl. Easy!
Traditional Bruschetta Recipe
- 1/2 lb cherry tomatoes
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EXAU – Turi)
- 1 pinch salt (or to taste)
- 2 pinches oregano (or to taste)
- 3/4 tbsp red onion (optional)
- 1 tsp fresh Calabrian chili pepper (optional)
- 4 1/2" thick slices bread (italian loaf or loaf of sourdough)
Using a very sharp knife, gently cut cherry tomatoes into quarters and place into a bowl.
(Optional) Finely chop onion & Calabrian chili pepper and place into bowl with tomatoes.
Add olive oil, salt, and oregano and mix. Let sit for 30 minutes minimum to meld.
Toast bread in toaster or oven until the top is brown and crunchy. Let cool.
Evenly add tomato mixture onto bread. Garnish with one piece of basil and serve.