A Recipe for Bruschetta, “Summer on a Plate”

June 30, 2020

A Recipe for Bruschetta, “Summer on a Plate”

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Every family has a few dishes that everyone loves, and someone always requests.

Bruschetta is one of those for us. Now, in the middle of summer with gorgeous tomatoes everywhere, is the time to think of bruschetta. And to make it.

Bruschetta is so simple, so summery, so garlicky-good. Ripe red tomatoes meet their life partner in soft green basil, with garlic and oil to seal their commitment. What’s not to love???

Bruschetta is summer on a plate.

The Grill-Meister and I have been eating bruschetta together since the beginning of our relationship, and that might be why he fell in love. Oh, he’ll say its my sunny personality, but my money’s on the bruschetta I made for him early on, in the dating phase.

We had the distinct pleasure of eating this humble, earthy dish in Italy on our honeymoon, 12 years ago now, in the mountains of Tuscany. It was utter bliss.

In the mountains of Tuscany, a very fond memory

In Italy, we learned that we’d been mispronouncing this delightful appetizer. It’s broo-sketta rather than broo-shetta. But we can’t seem to change our ways. We are failing this part of the Food Snob Test.

Because we love it so, bruschetta was one of the first recipes I documented when I decided to make a collection of favorite recipes into a cookbook, way back in 2012. That cookbook-writing goal morphed into this blog in 2015, but somehow, the bruschetta (broo-shetta) recipe never made it onto these pages. The dish was in a picture or two, though, like this one in the Smorgasbord Post. The bruschetta is in the middle, amidst various crostini and other goodies.

Smorgasbord for Two by the Pool, from Antipasto Advice from Mom and Great Tastes from the Texas Gulf Coast

When I started that cookbook endeavor that became the blog instead, I used the Pages app on my MacBook to capture the recipes. That seems so “last-century” now, but I was able to open it and retrieve my documented bruschetta recipe.

Glover Gardens Bruschetta, Summer on a Plate

Ingredients

  • 1 packed cup fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • 3 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped (optional)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups roughly chopped ripe tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup good quality olive oil
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 – 2 sourdough or French baguettes, sliced

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to broil.  Combine herbs, tomatoes, garlic and oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange bread on a cookie sheet and broil until lightly toasted.  Serve assembled or separately (see note), topping with more freshly ground pepper.

Note:  To serve the bruschetta all at once, top the toasts with the tomato mixture and present them fully assembled.  But since my family likes to graze on bruschetta all afternoon on a hot summer day, I serve the bread and tomato mixture separately, so the toasts won’t get soggy.  The Grill-Meister says that the benefit of this is that they can “maximize the portion size and yummy factor of their bite”.  Translation: “more is better.”


I had a picture with my unpublished 2012 recipe in the Pages app, and I’m astonished by how bad it is. I guess the good news is that my food photos have improved a little since 2012.

I’m sure the bruschetta was great, but the photo leaves a bit to be desired

An image I like better is this different take on bruschetta from a late afternoon snack while traveling in Paris with colleagues from Houston; we were just off Avenue de Champs-Elysées where the gardens begin.

The Parisian version of bruschetta, a large, grilled slice of crusty bread completely covered with tomatoes drizzled in olive oil, with balsamic vinegar and arugula on the side

Here’s a London version, from Da Corradi.

Big chunks of ripe tomatoes with garlic and spicy basil atop crunchy sourdough make a tasty and authentic bruschetta appetizer

Wherever we have it, in your own back yard or abroad, and however you pronounce it, bruschetta really is “summer on a plate”.

© 2020, Glover Gardens

 


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