Some see bruschetta simply as gourmet toast, but there’s so much more to it than that. Here’s why we love this Italian bread-based dish-and why you should too.
A medieval fix for days-old bread
As one of Italy’s most popular foods, it should come as no surprise that bruschetta has a long-standing history. The form we know today first came to life in the 15th century, created as a way to salvage old bread and turn it into a cheap, hearty meal for hard-working labourers. It’s not hard to see why this dish has withstood the test of time. The recipe is so simple and the ingredients so few that anyone can make it at any time, and it’s delicious to boot.
As with many Mediterranean foods, this dish is as healthy as it is delicious. It uses olive oil (which is made up of heart-healthy fats) as well as fresh tomatoes (which are low in calories and rich in vitamins).
Building the best bruschetta
To make basic bruschetta, all you need is bread, olive oil, garlic and toppings. However, making great bruschetta takes a little more effort. You’ll need to start with an Italian bread like Pugliese or ciabatta. Their open-textured surfaces absorb flavour and oil perfectly. After grilling or toasting the bread to crisp, golden perfection, it’s rubbed with fresh, plump garlic to give it immense flavour. Then, the bread is drizzled with olive oil-ideally premium quality extra virgin olive oil, although other oils can bring unique flavours. Finally, there are the toppings. The most common option is freshly chopped tomatoes, but other popular toppings include cured meats, cheese, vegetables and balsamic vinegar.
In restaurants, bruschetta is most commonly served as a starter. It’s the best way to whet your appetite for delicious pasta, risotto or any other Italian delight. However, in Italy, it’s enjoyed as a snack at any time of day. You can eat it as a quick breakfast, a dinner party nibble or even a light dinner after a tiring day at work. Be sure to try a variety of toppings as each one has its own unique flavour profile, and don’t hesitate to pair the dish with a bottle of light red wine.
Get it delivered to your door
If you want a platter of bruschetta to accompany your next Italian meal, we have a few suggestions.
Trattoria is a popular restaurant with both vegetarian tomato and smoked salmon varieties on the menu. If you’re dining with the whole family or a group of friends, order the Antipasto Italiano from Modesto’s-alongside bruschetta, it includes Caprese, grilled vegetables and more.