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How to Make Bruschetta with Recipes

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Bruschetta in its basic form has been prepared in Italy for centuries. Originally, it was simply pieces of day or two old bread, grilled or toasted, before being rubbed with garlic, drizzled with new season olive oil and seasoned with salt. Like so many other one time peasant dishes, bruschetta has evolved over the centuries, particularly as its popularity has spread around the world, and it is now served with an almost endless variety of enhancements and/or accompaniments, most frequently as an appetizer.

Basic Bruschetta
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Basic bruschetta served with a simple dressed salad

Just as bruschetta itself has become so varied over a period of time, the ingredients included in the recipes below are equally variable. This applies particularly to the meats and cheeses, the availability of which will vary geographically. The bread used in each of the following prepared recipes is Italian ciabatta bread rolls but many other breads can be substituted.

Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta with Truffle Oil Salad

Tomato and Garlic Bruschetta with Truffle Oil Salad
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tomatoes sauteed with garlic on bruschetta with truffle oil dressed salad

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • ½ ciabatta bread roll (or equivalent)
  • 3 red cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Pinch dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Handful mixed salad leaves
  • 6 pitted green olives
  • Spray of white truffle oil
  • 2 small basil leaves to garnish

Directions

Sauteing Tomatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tomatoes and garlic are sauteed in olive oil

Cut the tomatoes in half down through the central core and add them to a small saucepan with the tablespoon of olive oil. Peel and grate in the first garlic clove. Season with salt, pepper and the dried basil. Put the pot on to a low to medium heat. Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon and cook for around five minutes until the tomatoes are just beginning to break down.

Washing Salad and Green Olives
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Salad ingredients are washed in cold water

Wash the salad leaves and olives under running cold water and shake dry.

Dressing Salad
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Salad is seasoned and dressed with truffle oil

Put the salad and olives in to a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Spray with a little truffle oil (not too much as the taste is very strong) and toss/stir to evenly distribute seasonings.

Tomato Bruschetta
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Sauteed tomatoes are spooned on to bruschetta

Toast or grill the bread and rub the presentation side with the peeled and lightly crushed second clove of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and carefully spoon the tomatoes on top. Arrange the salad alongside and garnish the bruschetta with the rolled and finely sliced basil leaves.

Coppa Piacentina Bruschetta with Stuffed Tomatoes and Olives

Coppa Piacentina Bruschetta with Stuffed Olives
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Italian cold cuts and red pesto sauce on bruschetta with ricotta stuffed olives and tomatoes

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • ½ ciabatta bread roll
  • 1 red cherry tomato
  • 1 yellow cherry tomato
  • 1 black cherry tomato
  • 3 pitted green olives
  • 1 teaspoon (approximately) ricotta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt
  • 2 teaspoons red pesto sauce
  • 2 thin slices coppa piacentina
  • 2 small basil leaves and 3 small basil sprigs to garnish

Directions

Washing Tomatoes and Olives
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tomatoes and olives are firstly washed

Wash the tomatoes and green olives in cold water and carefully pat dry with kitchen paper.

Stuffing Olives
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Olives are stuffed with ricotta cheese

A small, sharp pointed knife is ideal to push the ricotta cheese in to the cavities in the olives vacated by the pips/stones. Any excess around the edges can be wiped away with dampened kitchen paper to improve presentation.

Base Sliced Tomatoes
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

A thin slice is taken from the base of each tomato

Take a thin slice off the base of each tomato to ensure they sit steady on the serving plate. Make two cuts in each one in a "+" shape, going two-thirds to three-quarters of the way down through the central core. The idea is to open the tomatoes up but not have the quarters collapse.

Stuffed Tomatoes and Olives
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Stuffed olives in tomatoes

Sit a stuffed olive in each opened up tomato and garnish with a small sprig of basil.

Red Pesto Bruschetta
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Red pesto sauce is spread on bruschetta

Grill or toast the bread roll and rub with the peeled and crushed garlic clove. Drizzle with olive oil, spread on the red pesto sauce and lay the rolled up meat slices on top before plating and garnishing with the sliced basil leaves.

Salame Piacentino Bruschetta and Cheese Platter

Salame Piacentino Bruschetta Cheese Platter
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Italian salami bruschetta with assorted cheeses and olives

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • ½ ciabatta bread roll
  • 2 thin slices each from three assorted medium to hard cheeses
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt
  • 4 thin slices salame piacentino
  • 6 to 8 pitted black olives
  • 1 teaspoon red pesto sauce
  • 2 small basil sprigs to garnish

Directions

Assorted Cheeses
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Selection of medium to hard cheeses

The three cheeses used in this recipe are English Red Leicester, apple wood smoked cheddar and hot and spicy Mexicana. This can be varied according to taste and availability.

Cheese and Olives
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Plated cheeses and olives

Arrange the cheese slices in an overlapping crescent on one side of the plate. Lay the black olives inside the curve,

Salami Bruschetta
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Salami on bruschetta is plated with cheeses

Grill the bread, rub with the crushed garlic clove, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Lay the meat slices on top and plate. Spoon half the red pesto sauce on to the plate on either side of the olives and garnish with the basil sprigs.

Coppa Piacentina Bruschetta with Garlic Oil Salad

Coppa Piacentina Bruschetta with Garlic Oil Salad
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Italian cold cut bruschetta with garlic oil dressed salad

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • ½ ciabatta roll
  • Small handful mixed salad leaves
  • 1 yellow cherry tomato
  • 1 red cherry tomato
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil plus extra for bruschetta
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 thin slices coppa piacentina
  • 2 small basil leaves to garnish

Directions

Washing Tomatoes and Salad
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Tomatoes and salad are washed

Wash the leaves and tomatoes in cold water and shake dry. Put the tablespoon of olive oil, the lemon juice and the first garlic clove (peeled and grated) in to a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper and stir well.

Plated Salad
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Garlic and lemon oil dressed salad is plated

Put the salad leaves and the quartered yellow tomato only in to the bowl with the dressing and stir fold to ensure even coating. Lift with cooking tongs to one side of your serving plate.

Coppa Piacentina Bruschetta
Credit: Gordon Hamilton

Coppa piacentina on bruschetta is plated with dressed salad

Prepare the bruschetta as previously before rolling the meat slices and laying them on top. Thinly slice the black tomato and lay on top of the meat before drizzling with a little of the leftover salad dressing. Roll and slice the basil leaves to provide a final garnish.

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