Bruschetta , plural ‘bruschette’ (brus-ket-teh), is a very popular appetizer born in the 16th century in central and southern Italy, which then spread to the entire country and eventually followed the Italian emigrants around the world.
Classic bruschetta can be made in several ways, but it’s always based on a salad of fresh diced tomatoes on a toasted slice of rustic bread. The name bruschetta, in fact, derives from ‘bruscare’, Roman dialect for the verb to toast. Traditionally, a hint of garlic is added by rubbing a peeled garlic clove onto the char-roasted bread. However, it can also be added in small amounts directly to the tomato salad.
Bruschetta can also be made with other toppings (e.g.: cooked beans, stewed mushrooms or bell peppers, tuna salad). In Italy, however, these are substantially less common than the classic tomato topping. Unless otherwise specified, the term ‘bruschetta’ refers to the tomato version and always to the whole preparation (bread plus topping), never to just the topping. So, no bruschetta burger, please!
For the best results, the bread has to remain crunchy. To this effect, the topping should be not too soggy and it should be put on the bread only a few minutes before serving. Some restaurants even have do-it-yourself bruschette, where a tomato salad is served in a bowl along with toasted bread.
This recipe describes a variation of the classic where a few extra ingredients are added.
- 4 Roma tomatoes
- (optional) ½ shallot
- 1 ½ cloves of garlic
- 3-4 leaves fresh basil
- 1 T olive oil
- ½ T balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 slices of artisan bread
- (optional) some ground black pepper
- Gather the ingredients. Wash and prepare the tomatoes for peeling by removing the bottom and by cutting a cross on the top. Slice and toast the bread.
- Blanch the fridge-cold tomatoes by dipping them in boiling water for 30 seconds, and then cooling them off quickly in cold water. The skin will come off easily.
- Remove the seeds and the cores, then dice the tomatoes.
- If using shallot, cut it into small dices.
- Cut the garlic into small dices. Slice the basil leaves by first rolling them up.
- Dress the bruschetta topping with balsamic vinegar, salt and olive oil.
- Place a generous amount of tomato salad on each bread slice. If desired, sprinkle with ground black pepper. This appetizers goes well with a full-bodied white wine, such as Malvasia Bianca, Soave, or Vernaccia.
16 thoughts on “Bruschetta, Properly Pronounced :)”
Well, I think that bruschetta is another of many Italian dishes that every family makes different!
For example, I don't peel the tomatoes, I don't remove seeds and cores and I don't use shallot. I finely chop tomatoes, then I dress with whole garlic cloves, hot pepper, basil (a lot of it), salt and EVO oil.
But I like your bruschetta, too 🙂
Giulietta, thanks for your comment. Yes! There are definitely many ways to prepare this appetizer. Anyone else wants to share the ingredients that they use to make it?
I never had the chance to try an authentic recipe, thanks for sharing and I'll give it a try. We had a place in town here that would place pre-toasted grill and the tomatoes in an oven before serving, always found it a bit strange that the tomatoes had to be heated, totally changes the experience.
Hi Philippe, heated tomatoes? I agree that that's quite strange… And they call it bruschetta?
Let me know how you like this one, and, BTW, thanks for the suggestion!
Thanks for correcting yet another misconception! it is brusketta not brushetta!! I just prepare tomatoes with basil and oil and I rub garlic on the toasted bread before assembling the bruschetta.
I can't deal with soggy bruschetta or people calling it brushetta! hahaha!
Hi Paolo! I love learning authentic recipes and I like your simple (well this is the authentic!) version. I really like your step-by-step. I make it too, but not as detail as yours!! I know how time-consuming it is. Great job!
Pola, Letizia Golosa, Nami, thanks for your comments!
Pola, your version is the most authentic one from what I know. But if you don't have access to actual Italian tomatoes, a few additions go a long way in bringing out some flavor 🙂
Nami, thanks so much for the compliments on the photos. I had some help 🙂
I can't believe I almost missed this post!!! Very informative as always. I love the detailed pictures, I always find them very helpful! 🙂 Also… I couldn't help smiling at the "brus-ket-aye"… it is such a common mistake!!! I make mine like Paola or with a "pesto alla trapanese" or I just rub garlic and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil! Buon appetito! 🙂
Thanks Manu 🙂
My goodness I could LIVE on bruschetta. Okay maybe I'd find a yearning for something else but I'm convinced it's worth a try.
I make mine the same way except sometimes if we're having guests that would croak at a piece of garlic I'll rub the toast with a clove instead of adding it and use olive oil infused with garlic.
Your post is delicious!!
Thanks Maureen for your feedback! And for the compliments 🙂
In Rome we usually just grill the bread, rub it with a raw garlic clove and drizzle with olive oil and salt. But in the summer, some chopped tomato and basil from the garden is an added treat. A few years back a waitress said it wrong, I corrected her and then she acted as if I had mispronounced it!
I think it would be better if you change your phonetics for the pronunciation… instead of "aye" (which we would pronounce like the Italian "ai" and in English as in "aye aye captain!") it would be better if you put "tah".
oops… just saw it was the plural… still instead of "aye" , perhaps "teh" would be better. I just think mother-tongue English would read it as "aye" (which means "yes") ! 🙂
Thanks a lot for this correction! Much appreciated. I've changed the post.
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