In this post, we are going to talk about bruschetta. How much do you love bruschetta? I am downright crazy about it! The silly thing is that as much as I love it, I hardly ever make it! Why, why, why? Did you know it's pronounced brewsketta? For more than half a decade I called it brush-etta, which put on the end of my name, giving my name a slight mispronunciation would be a crazy Rushella Brushetta. Say it a couple times, it's fun! Anyway, to me, the quintessential bruschetta uses tomatoes, basil, and olive oil. There are recipes out there using beans, peppers, and the list goes on and on. But, there is just perfection when you combine tomatoes, basil, bufula mozzarella, olive oil, balsamic vinegar. It's as though they were all made to go together. A close relative, the panzanella salad is also a personal favorite!
I'm definitely not an authority on Italian cuisine, but to make really memorable bruschetta, I believe some special care is required. First of all, you have to select a proper bread. You don't want a light, airy french loaf with a thinner skin. You want to look for a hearty, dense, crusty Italian loaf, a pugliese or rustic country variety. Also, you want to slice the bread in 1'' slices, the difference between crostini and bruschetta toasts are that crostini is thinner. Also, I read that that bruschetta comes from the Italian bruscare, which means to cook over coals. After rubbing garlic on the slices and drizzling them with olive oil, salt, and pepper, it would be a fantastic idea to grill them lightly. That black searing adds so much flavor and character, of course I don't have to tell you that! I know this step is well worth the effort, but honestly, I rarely do it. To cheat, you could turn your oven on broil for the last seconds. Also, the tomatoes. Choose ripe, flavorful ones. Be sure to seed them before you dice them up. I've seen some recipes call for good, canned tomatoes. This would be a good option in the winter. I think you can still sneak in some good summertime bruschetta with fresh tomatoes though. It would really be the perfect way to say farewell to the season!
If you want, you can always add red onion, capers, olives, or whatever else you think would taste great in the topping. I like to keep it pretty simple with diced tomatoes, basil chiffonade, bufala mozzarella (diced the same size as the tomatoes), olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and a balsamic reduction syrup to finish. I always used to eat this with the topping fresh, but lately, have been putting it back in the oven for a bit to meld the topping and melt the cheese slightly.
I don't think a recipe is needed here. Just add ingredients to your preference. I always use about equal parts tomato and mozzarella. The basil and lemon juice is to taste, as well as the salt and pepper. Toast the bread at 325-375 depending on your oven, until just crisped and slightly golden, then turn the broiler on and just let them get a bit blackened and then remove. The broiler step is not necessary though. And then just eat up! Aren't you crazy about bruschetta, too?