Bruschetta and Italian Antipasto
Credit: Credit: Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee /

In my last article, I gave you recipes for one of the classic Italian antipasti – appetizers – the Crostini.  Today, the classic, and probably more famous, bruschetta.  That’s pronounced Bru-ske-tta with the “ch” pronounced as a “k”, not a “ch” as in church or any other way!

Why is this the classic appetizer?  Well, the Romans and the Tuscans are fond of it and it’s very common in the South of Italy.  It’s name supposedly comes from the Roman dialect expression for roasting over coals and some trace the recipe back to ancient Rome perhaps employed by olive producers testing their freshly pressed oil by toasting bread to dip into it.  Whatever the origin, it’s an enduring classic whose longevity speaks to its quality.  And nothing could be simpler, or tastier.

In today’s article, I give you the Basic Bruschetta recipe, and the classic Basil and Tomato variety, the Wild Mushroom variety and finally the perfectly Mediterranean Eggplant Bruschetta.  These are great!  And they can precede a substantial main course like Veal Saltimbocca or Spaghetti with Tuna Sauce.

Basic Bruschetta Recipe

To Make 4 Bruschetta use the following ingredients:

4 large slices of “country-style” bread such as Ciabatta
1 garlic clove
Extra virgin olive oil


1. Toast the bread until it is crisp, or use the grill (broil) or even better the chargrill to toast it
2.  Cut the garlic clove in half and rub the cut edge on one side of the bread slice and then the other side of the breach slice
3.  Drizzle a little of the olive oil over each breach slice.  Do not drown the bread!

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

To prepare 4 slices of this Bruschetta, use the following ingredients:

4 ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon of fresh basil, torn into pieces (but not too small)
4 pieces of the basic Bruschetta
Extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper 

Method:  Roughly chop the tomatoes, place the chopped tomatoes in a bowl and mix in the basil.  Season with salt and the black pepper.  Pile the tomato and basil mix onto the pieces of Bruschetta. Lightly drizzle with oil and serve on a plate.

Wild Mushroom Bruschetta

To prepare 4 slices of this Bruschetta, you need the following ingredients:

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
400g (14oz) selection of wild mushrooms.  You can use whatever variety you have, but this is particularly good with fresh porcini (which should be sliced if they are large) or chestnut mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon of chopped thyme
4 pieces basic bruschetta
Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large saucepan or frying plan, heat the olive oil.
2. When the oil is hot, add enough mushrooms to just cover the base of the pan and cook over high heat.  Stir the mushrooms frequently and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
If the mushrooms become watery when cooked, continue to cook them until the liquid has evaporated
3. Add a little crushed garlic and thyme and cook for a further minute.
4. Take the pan off the heat and repeat with any remaining mushrooms.
5. To serve, spoon the topping over each Bruschetta piece.  Serve immediately.

Eggplant (Aubergine) Bruschetta

To prepare 4 slices of this Bruschetta, you need the following ingredients:

2 large eggplants (aubergines), sliced into medium thickness slices
2 garlic cloves, crushed
For a marinade: 170ml (2/3 cup) extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 small lemon
3 tablespoons roughly chopped mint
4 pieces of basic bruschetta
Freshly ground black pepper


1. Heat a chargrill pan or griddle on the stove.
2. Place a few eggplant slices in the pan
3. Cook the eggplant slices over a moderately high heat, turning once, until the eggplant is soft and cooked.
4. Prepare a marinade by mixing together the garlic, oil, lemon juice and mint and season well with salt and black pepper. 
5. Put the eggplant in a dish with the marinade and leave for 30 minutes.
6. Place a couple of the eggplant pieces on each Bruschetta and spoon the marinade over the top.