This Classic Italian Bruschetta is not only tasty but also simple and beautiful to serve! You’re summer party guests will be most impressed with your international food prowess and we don’t even mind if you take all the credit!
One of the things that we continued to be most surprised by in Italy was how simple most of the food was. I think sometimes we have a tendency to overcomplicate our food in America, but in Italy that isn’t the case. Often, our Italian meals were made with just a few fresh ingredients and they were always molto buono (very good) no matter how simple.
Hold the Onions, Per Favore!
Speaking of overcomplicating our food. Almost every Bruschetta I’ve ever had in the US has been loaded with onions! Usually the purple raw ones that stick with you (and your breath) for days. So one thing that really stood out to us in Italy was the lack of onions in most of the Italian dishes we ate. For that matter we only detected trace amounts of Garlic too. Nothing there was overdone! In the US at least, it seems that most chefs, even the ones that cook great Italian food, use onions in everything (whether it’s for flavor or bulk), much to Dr. Double Portions (Dr. DP) our resident onion haters dismay. So when in Rome – and all of Italy in general – we were pleased as pizza to find we didn’t even have to know the word Onion in Italian! Which by the way is “cipolla” (pronounced CHEE-POH-LA)—Cuz Dr. DP has learned how to say NO ONION in every language!
You might recall in a couple of #TourOfItaly videos we discussed a short stay in a timeshare in Sardinia, Italy where I tried my hand at a little Italian home cooking. I must say I did pretty well and this was our favorite dish!
Classic Italian Bruschetta is a fun and easy dish to make in your timeshare or any limited kitchen for that matter! Then bonus, I told you how to make Oven Roasted Tomatoes the other day and so NOW if you want to be a bit more like the Italians, you can skip the can and used your fresh Oven Roasted Tomatoes instead!
Bruschetta in Italy started as a way of salvaging stale bread by brushing it with olive oil and grilling it to it’s toasty goodness. And yes, in most parts of Italy, it is served with some type of topping, but not always. In one restaurant we dined at, the bruschetta topping was just a small bowl of seasoned tomato sauce or ragu to be spooned on the bread to our liking. In other places it was the “classic” style we think of with sort of a chunky tomato chutney. Then there was the place that served it with olive tapenade/pate—mulched olives and herbs—To Die For! Still other places just served it with olive oil. Which is by the way another way it was used then and now—As an olive oil taster! Yum!
Classic Italian Bruschetta Pairing Suggestions
Don’t forget the Pairing! This IS an italian dish after all and the Italians like their wine and birra (beer)!
In Italy, we had a Santa Christina Toscana that we found at a local grocery, but just in case you can’t find that in the states, we also highly recommend Roma Rosso from Fontana Candida and Banfi Wines!
You can never go wrong with Nastro Azzuro by Peroni!
- 1 can Crushed tomatoes (about 14.5 oz.) OR Cinfully Simple Oven Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 toe of minced garlic (More if you’re not a vampire)
- 10 Fresh Basil leaves, julienned (You can sub dried if you don’t have fresh.)
- 1 T Olive oil
- 2 tsp. Balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste (You will need more salt if you use the Oven Roasted Tomatoes.)
- 25 (ish) Bruschetta or crostini toasts/rounds—You can even use Melba toast or make your own from stale bread.
- 2-3 oz. Parmesan or pecorino, shredded or shaved (For Garnish)
- Mix all ingredients together, taste for flavor.
- Serve one of two ways:
- In a pretty serving bowl with a spoon with toasts and cheese nearby;
- OR as individual servings where you spoon the topping on each toast, top with cheese and arrange on a platter for guests. Both are lovely, but I like the serve yourself version so the toasts don’t get soggy!