Step-By-Step Recipe: Bruschetta

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This was supposed to look like the Italian flag, but we kind of flipped the order of the colours about… It’s actually green on the left and red on the right. We are sorry for our ignorance :(

What… Italian food? Again? Yes once again this is another post on Italian food, and I do not apologize. You know how it’s so easy to go to a new country and start craving for your home country’s food after a few days just because you’re not used to it? I think Italy had the reverse effect on me. Of course, I did feel enraged that the beauty of Italy’s gastronomic gems got destroyed along the way with the proliferation of frozen pizza, spaghetti  soaked in ketchup-like gravy, grainy gelato et cetera but this also means that everywhere else in the world, people are trying their best to appreciate this cuisine even though they’re not always getting it right. Kind of like Chinese food everywhere else as well. Hmmmn.

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So anyway, following the success of a very simple recipe of an Italian dish Cacio E Pepe Romano last week, I decided to write another one that is considerably easy. In fact, bruschetta (pronounced broos-ket-ta not broo-shet-ta) is not only easy but also highly versatile because you can put any topping on these little pieces of toast! Just about anything you can think of. You can even serve these fancy versions of toast as tapas or canapes at functions, like I did at my brother’s wedding reception, because it’s simple but still impresses your diners! :)

What’s more, you get to use up your stale bread, which is why I wrote this post… Lol, shhh.

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Ingredients for Bruschetta: Serves 3-4

For the Bread Bases
Half a loaf of Baguette or any bread that toasts well
2 cloves of Garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

For the Tomato, Onion & Balsamic Vinegar Topping
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
1 White Onion, diced
Balsamic Vinegar, a dash
Coarse Salt / Sea Salt, to taste
(Freshly) Ground Black Pepper, a dash

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Step 1: Toast the Bread Bases

Whenever I buy bread I always take ages to finish them – So much that the bread often turns stale before I even get to half of the loaf or baguette. Recently I’d been making lots of varieties of bruschetta just so that my bread wouldn’t go to waste!

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Cut the baguette loaf diagonally to get relatively thin slices of toast. The thinner, the crispier, although they should still be thick enough to accommodate the toppings.

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Grate the cloves of garlic against the bread to “rub” in the flavours. You’d be amazed to see how the garlic gradually disappears after a few rubs! This should be an easy step for stale bread which tends to be harder. And errr, try not to poke holes in your bread when you go about this *guilty*.

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Coat both sides of these bread slices with your olive oil, liberally, because the oil crisps up the toast!

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A good quality extra virgin olive oil that is fruity and young is optimal because but any olive oil should suffice. Grill or bake the bread until it reaches a golden brown shade and the sides become crispy!

Step 2: Preparing the Bruschetta Toppings

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The more traditional or classic topping would be tomatoes and fresh basil leaves. I didn’t happen to have basil with me, but it’s great to have! I actually went for some chopped white onions, which are pretty sweet even raw. Just try not to use onions that tend to be very pungent, like red onions, or even shallots. The quality of tomatoes is also important to have great bruschetta! Roma tomatoes, also known as Italian tomatoes or plum tomatoes, are one of the best varieties for this because of their sweetness and for them having almost no seeds.

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Top your bread bases with the mix of tomatoes and onions, along with some freshly grated black pepper, a dash of salt and a little balsamic vinegar, and you’d have a nice little snack all done up in less than 15 minutes.

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Or you can even go a step further and bake the entire bruschetta until it becomes a crusty biscuit! Not too authentic, but quite impressive in the taste department. In fact it was so good it almost felt like it was deep fried! Aah, la dolce vita (‘the sweet life’)!

Posted by #phangchewfat

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