The name “bruschetta” means “lightly toasted”; made with poor ingredients from the vegetable garden and with stale bread from the previous day, the bruschetta was born as a dish for the lower strata or the population.
Although you can now find bruschetta everywhere in Italy and abroad, there are a few regions that claim the bruschetta as their own tradition: Tuscany, Lazio, Umbria, Marche, Abruzzo, Campania, Calabria and Apulia.
The traditional Italian bruschetta is prepared with homemade bread, made with durum wheat. This kind of white bread has a thick and dark crust and a very airy texture: it becomes nicely crispy when toasted and it’s very aromatic, with a unique taste.
Using of other types of bread is obviously not forbidden, but pay attention: some breads are not very suitable for bruschetta. Flat breads, milk rolls, focaccia or other very oily preparations will not give you optimal results.
It goes without saying that there are many regional variations. In Tuscany, for instance, the bruschetta is called crostino (a big crouton) and is typically served with chicken liver.
Serves: 4 people | Preparation time: 15 to 20 mins | Cooking time: 5 to 10 mins
- Bread: 250 g
- Cherry tomatoes: 250 g
- Garlic: about 3 cloves
- Basil, fresh: 5 to 10 leaves
- Oregano, dried: to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil: to taste
- Salt and pepper: to taste
Cut the bread in slices about 3 cm thick. Then toast the bread, either in the oven, on a grill, or using a non-stick pan. Make sure to give the bread enough time for the slices to become golden and crunchy on each side.
The classic bruschetta is the simplest one, but also a sure hit. To prepare it, you will only need garlic, olive oil and salt. Make sure to use only good quality extra virgin olive oil, as its flavour will be the most prominent.
Peel the garlic.
Once the bread is toasted, rub a garlic clove on each side.
Lay the bruschetta on a plate and drizzle some olive oil on top. Add a pinch of salt and serve.
Oregano and Pepper Bruschetta
To add some flavour to your classic bruschetta, simply add pepper and oregano according to your taste.
Red Bruschetta with Fresh Tomatoes
This variation of the classic bruschetta is perhaps the most famous. To achieve the best results, make sure to prepare the tomatoes at the moment, and never leave them overnight once cut, especially if you already added the salt; the tomatoes will sweat out most of their liquid and will become mushy.
While the bread is toasting, cut the cherry tomatoes and the basil leaves in small pieces. Mix the tomatoes and the basil together in a bowl, along with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
When the bread is ready, garnish each slice with a generous spoonful of tomatoes and serve the bruschetta right away.
Tip: Whichever seasoning you choose, immediately eat your bruschetta: it’s much tastier when warm and fragrant, but most especially if you wait too long the liquid from the seasoning will make the bread soggy and moist.