This week’s Food Matters Project challenge was to break away from the traditional bruschetta topping of chopped tomatoes, onions and herbs and to rethink the possibilities. It was fun dreaming up different combinations to top a slice of toasty, garlicky bread and even more fun to try them out. Here are some of the combinations I tried. They stay true to the recipe’s Italian roots.
Thanks to Laura J. of Chef Laura at Home for choosing today’s challenge. You can view Mark Bittman’s original recipe here on Laura’s blog. You can view all the other bloggers’ideas as well.
Preparing these variations immersed me in memories of our recent trip to Italy . . . and made me long to go again.
Begin with the bread:
1 multi-grain baguette or loaf of rustic bread, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup quality extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Broil or grill the bread slices until lightly browned. While hot, rub the slices with the garlic cloves on one side. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve warm with one of these toppings:
1. “Meat and Cheese”
Top warm baguette slices with sliced pecorino cheese and finely chopped prosciutto, then drizzle with local honey. The sweet and salty contrast in this combination is superb.
This photo was taken on a hillside overlooking the town of Assisi, Italy. Imagine lounging in the sunshine, sipping a lovely red, and watching a local shepherd tending to the sheep whose cheese you’re nibbling on. Paradise.
2. “The Traditional”
Sliced mozzarella cheese (or grated Asiago is good too), finely chopped red onion, coarsely chopped fresh vine-ripened tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, fresh or dried oregano or rosemary. Cover bread slices with cheese and onion and return to oven to melt. Top with tomatoes and basil leaves and herbs. Drizzle with quality olive oil, serve immediately . . .
. . . and dream of hilltop towns in Tuscany.
3. “Fresh Spring Greens”: Avocado-Artichoke with Lemon and Chives
For one baguette: chop 2 avocados, chop 1/4 cup of drained marinated artichokes, snip 1 tbsp. of fresh chives and toss all with the juice of half a lemon. Mound on warm toasted baguette and serve immediately.
What would you top your bruschetta with? Leave me a comment and share your ideas!