Bruschetta (broo-SKAY-tah) is a perfect appetizer to serve with an aperitif; it’s healthy, fast and easy to prepare. The ingredients are simple: bread, tomatoes, olive oil (extra-virgin of course), basil and garlic, but the result is wonderfully flavorful. The type of bread that I use is homemade bread from Puglia or Tuscany. The quality of tomatoes is very important; they should be mature, sweet and full of flavor. They should also have a thin skin, because they should not be peeled. Bruschetta is a native of Rome, where “bruscare” means simply “to toast” in the Roman dialect. Originally a simpler version existed: only bread and olive oil. Today it is also a typical dish all over central Italy – Umbria , Tuscany and Abruzzo – and is prepared using tomato, too. I personally prefer this version; I find it more tasty and inviting, perfect for a summer cook out.
When you want to things up but keep it easy, try bruschetta with warm crab – delicious!
BRUSCHETTA AL POMODORO (TOMATO BRUSCHETTA)
12 slices crusty bread
8 ripe tomatoes
18 basil leaves
4 garlic cloves
Extra-virgin olive oil
1. Wash the tomatoes and dice into small pieces. Place in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt, 5-6 basil leaves and a clove of garlic cut in half. Allow to stand for 10 min. Remove the liquid and drizzle with some olive oil
2. Slice the bread ( 15x5cm, 6x2inch thickness 2.5 cm, 1 inch). Toast it on the grill or under the broiler. Rub with a clove of garlic cut in half and cover with the tomato mixture. Garnish with a basil leaf and serve warm. -Paola