The Best Bruschetta

Three variations: classic, pimped, and fancy.

If at all possible, start with homemade bread. Calm down, before you dismiss this entirely, try one of these bread mixes (just add water and knead). Hot damn they are a lazy chef’s answered prayer.

Serves at least 4.

Classic

  • Homemade bread (stop complaining, you can use a good bought crusty bread instead)
  • 2 parts tomato to 1 part red onion (both diced, and remove the insides of the tomato first)
  • Parsley (chopped)
  • Lemon juice
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Garlic

Combine the tomatoes, onions, parsley, and a squirt of lemon juice. Let it sit for an hour. Slice and toast the bread, then rub a peeled garlic clove onto the bread so it has a little layer of garlic deliciousness. Drizzle on less then a cap-full of oil. Pile the tomato salsa onto the bread and garnish with parsley if you want to channel your inner ‘MasterChef’.

Pimped

As above and add any or all of the following ingredients:

  • Prosciutto
  • Mozzarella
  • Replace lemon juice for lime juice and add diced chilies
  • Olives
  • A spreading of soft roasted garlic
  • Avocado
  • Leave out the salsa and layer some smoked salmon (and caviar too, why not). Finish with lemon juice.

Fancy

  • Homemade bread
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Figs (sliced)
  • Honey
  • Goat’s cheese (sliced)

Toast one side of the bread. Dress the other side with olive oil, layer the figs and drizzle on the honey. Grill gently. Add the cheese and either serve as it is or let grill again to let the cheese soften.

Serve with prosecco.

My review: A little taste of sunshine, best served at dinner parties in the spring and summer. Depending on the company, you can just place all the ingredients on the table with a platter of the toasted bread and encourage some creativity. There ain’t no party like a bruschetta party.