As my sister Allyson would say after her experience living abroad in Firenze, Italy, “it’s pronounced “brus-ket-ah”. Although I have every intention of paying homage to the country and its native language where this incredibly simple, yet delicious dish originated, I somehow always fail to remember the proper pronunciation and usually go with the Americanized version of “bru-she-tah”.
Now that I have successfully made the dish, I feel a heightened sense of obligation to correct my verbal delivery of this recipe’s title. Before I share the recipe, I will add that I especially appreciate that this popular “aperitivo” or appetizer encompasses the three Italian national colors: green (basil), red (tomatos), and white (fresh bread and garlic). Also, I made the recipe with multi-grain bread to make it heartier and healthier.
Rebeccammended appetizer recipe when entertaining guests at home, or as a guest contribution when attending a dinner party: No Fret-ta Bruschetta.
No Fret-ta Bruschetta
- 1 containter or medium-sized bag of small cherry tomatos
- 1 package of fresh basil leaves
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- 4 fresh garlic cloves
- 1 loaf fresh multi-grain bread (the more rustic, the better, and a French Bread loaf would work as well)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
- Slice the bread loaf if not pre-sliced
- Cover 2 cookie sheets with foil and lightly coat with cooking spray
- Lay the bread slices flat on the cookie sheet; fill the sheet
- Lightly drizzle or brush olive oil on the top of each bread slice and place in the oven for 10 minutes
- While the bread is broiling in the oven, wash and dry the tomatos
- Cut the tomatos into quarters, and place in a strainer to remove excess water, tomato juice, and seeds (if you do not strain, the bread can get soggy when you top it with the tomato mixture)
- Place the strained tomatos in a medium-sized bowl
- Finely chop and add the 4 garlic cloves to the tomatos
- Wash, dry, and finely chop the basil leaves (add as much as you like, to taste) and add to the tomato and garlic mixture in the bowl
- Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil to the mixture
- Add 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the mixture, and toss to coat the tomatos (this adds a touch of tangy-sweetness to the topping)
- After the bread has toasted for 10 minutes, spoon the tomato, garlic, basil mixture on the top of each bread slice
- Place the trays back in the oven for 5 minutes. This will lightly roast the topping, while preventing the bread from becoming soggy or burning.
- Remove trays from the oven, then remove each bruschetta slice and place on your serving platter(s).
- Take a bite and enjoy!