6 November 2015

3.06 Bruschetta – Low-Fuss – Starters & Sides

Bruschetta (which my mother is constantly reminding me should be pronounced "bru-sketta") is a much-loved classic Italian starter that shows even something that is basically tomatoes on toast can still taste great.

I know I don’t usually go down the traditional route, but this time I’ll make an exception. I’ve seen many a would-be "modified bruschetta" which just didn’t compare to the real thing.

And maybe this could redeem me in the eyes of my Italian relatives after some of my previous deviations? (as well as those yet to come!)

8 large Roma tomatoes, deseeded and diced
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped roughly
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf fresh Ciabatta bread, sliced thickly
1-2 large garlic cloves, peeled and sliced in half
Extra virgin olive oil (extra, for brushing)

Not really much to it, is there? Perfection in simplicity.

If you can’t get Ciabatta, then Pana di Casa or any other type of artisan bread can probably be substituted.


1. Mix together tomatoes, basil and olive oil in a bowl with a generous pinch of salt, cover and place aside for at least 15 minutes. (Simple enough, right?)

2. Brush both sides of each slice of Ciabatta with the extra olive oil.

3. Fry the bread in a grill pan over a high heat until both sides are crunchy and show grill bars. (You could do this on a BBQ, or just use a regular toaster and skip Step 2.)

4. Once the toast has cooled slightly, rub each piece with garlic (sliced side down) on one side. (You’d be surprised how much garlic each slice can take, so if you’re serving this to some poor, sad person who doesn’t like a lot of garlic, be a bit careful.)

5. Spoon the tomato mixture onto the grilled bread. (Seriously, just pile it on. Most of the time it's served to you in a restaurant or cafe it's almost impossible to eat without dropping the tomato everywhere!)

Serves 1-12.

A video of this recipe is also available - https://youtu.be/IpJoDBMKqA0.

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