15 Nov2009

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We had an impromptu dinner guest over a few days ago and while the main course was already in the works, we decided to quickly come up with a tray of appetizers as well. Bruschetta are a classic Italian snack or appetizer, most often served plain or with just some brilliant tomatoes and basil or even cheese. Medium slices of substantial country bread are grilled over a brustolina. A brustolina is a pan with holes, set over the open flames and it toasts the bread nicely with heat from below. Toast the bread slices on both sides, then rub the toasted bread with a peeled clove of garlic (lightly), and drizzle with some good olive oil and salt and that’s it. Obviously, something so simple is utterly dependent on the quality of the ingredients, so use the best bread you can find, really good olive oil, garlic and salt! While I am a fan of bruschetta in its most basic incarnation, I am an even bigger fan of bruschetta with pomodoro or tomatoes in some form or other…

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We managed to make eight different toppings for the bruschetta after rummaging around our fridge. There was a bruschetta with thin slices of prosciutto. Another one with chopped beets from a leftover beet salad (I wouldn’t do this one again). We had some freshly roasted yellow capsicum in olive oil that was sweet and delicious. Some lightly grilled cherry tomatoes that were delicious. Chopped asparagus with homemade semi-dried tomatoes. Chopped bottled artichokes. Some caramelized balsamic onions. And some very thinly sliced grilled zucchinis. We don’t have a brustolina grill, so I used a flat cast iron griddle instead and it worked reasonably well, though you have a tendency to burn the edges of the bread more than toast it evenly… Because we had a lot of these ingredients already in the fridge/pantry, the whole tray up above took less than 25 minutes to assemble. And if you make too much, just put all the leftover toppings on a platter and serve it like an antipasti plate the next day at lunch. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. zena says:

    I am a big fan of bruschetta as well for its simplicity, easy prep and flexibility. Good olive oil is imperative and seasalt, none of that iodized stuff for this one.

    Nov 15, 2009 | 9:28 am

     
  2. Cecilia says:

    So beautiful and yummy! And what a timely post, as I though I’d check-out your site to whet my appetite before heading out to dinner! :D

    Nov 15, 2009 | 9:28 am

     
  3. el_jefe says:

    Fresca!… Masarap! Manyaman! Manami! Masiramon! Naimas! Lami Kaayo! Savoroso!
    Hey MM! You must be the old soul from Sulipan, Pampanga..The gracious host of the extravagant banquets of the by gone era on the banks of Rio Grande dela Pampanga…Capitan Joaquin Arnedo Cruz…You seem to have mastered the art of entertaining your guests and readers alike through good food, an impeccable taste for chic things and a luxurious lifestyle to match….

    Nov 15, 2009 | 11:07 am

     
  4. chinachix says:

    I love how you styled the first photo!

    Nov 15, 2009 | 11:17 am

     
  5. betty q. says:

    Oh, maybe if you dressed upthe roasted beet bruschetta topping with a drizzle of the vinaigrette from your caramelized balsamic onions, and then some slivers of Grana Padano or feta maybe or grated smoked gouda, though I think feta would give it a balance of flavours …something sweet (from the beets), sour (from the balsamic dressing) and saltiness (from the feta or smoked gouda or gruyere or even slivers of Grana Padano…maybe it would change your mind!…Oh. then top it too withroasted pistachios!

    Nov 15, 2009 | 11:19 am

     
  6. Angela says:

    The one with the prosciutto is calling my name :)

    Nov 15, 2009 | 11:21 am

     
  7. Divina says:

    Ooohhh, lovely, lots of toppings to choose from. I hope to be one of your guests one day. :D

    Nov 15, 2009 | 1:46 pm

     
  8. Connie C says:

    Yes Betty Q: Sweet, sour, salty, the perfect combination, and you can think of your exotic combinations. For the hoi polloi, Heinz ketchup has that perfect combination, tho I don’t mean to suggest at all slathering MM’s bruschetta with Heinz ketchup. Just observed lately that hubby ( who is on a diet) has taken to putting Heinz ketchup on his rice (when I am not looking), even before the main meal gets to the table. Now I understand why. Ugghh!

    Nov 15, 2009 | 1:55 pm

     
  9. cumin says:

    How do you manage to make simple meals look so inspired! A feast for the eyes as well as the palate. And healthy, too. I don’t know which is more tempting: your cookbook or your restaurant. Will wait ten years for the book, if necessary. And isn’t it nice to dream of your restaurant, even if open just once weekly, with betty q. as visiting guest chef :-)

    Nov 15, 2009 | 4:42 pm

     
  10. Mom-Friday says:

    great instant appetizers! i’d like to try all the toppings…same sentiments as Zena, Divina and Cumin :)

    Nov 15, 2009 | 10:37 pm

     
  11. jean says:

    Everything looks scrumptious, MM! A brustolina reminds me, maybe not in appearance, but certainly in its purpose, of the stove top parilya that we used to toast bread when I was growing up. Are parilyas still available in the Philippines? I haven’t been home in 20+ years. Wonderful and surprisingly (for me) evocative post as always!

    Nov 15, 2009 | 11:40 pm

     
  12. Carlos says:

    I would have gone with the tomatoes and cheese with garlic. But then again, maybe tuna (canned kind) with tomatoes and cheese always seem to work!

    One of my favorites to prepare!

    Nov 16, 2009 | 7:19 am

     
  13. tnm says:

    This is inspiring. Before I read this post, I was proposing to my husband to just have a light tapas meal for Noche Buena. Stuff like manchego cheese, jamon serrano, etc. Maybe, I’ll incorporate some bruschetta with grilled veggie toppings for more color and variety. Thank you!

    Nov 16, 2009 | 7:28 am

     
  14. millet says:

    one of my favorite things to do on lazy sunday nights!

    Nov 16, 2009 | 8:35 am

     
  15. tiara says:

    mine too. cheese, tuna, and lots of garlic = love. :)

    Nov 17, 2009 | 6:53 am

     
  16. Didi says:

    Sarap naman your bruschetta!! :)

    Wow!

    Nov 25, 2009 | 2:30 pm

     
  17. jakbkk says:

    although i love eating bruschetta, i’ve never done one until yesterday and totally agree with MM that having the best/freshest ingredients is the first step to a delicious meal!!! i tried the pomodoro type with basil and parmesan and will try again this week with oregano and mozarella.

    Aug 2, 2010 | 1:00 pm

     
 

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