Now that summer is in full swing, many of you gardeners will be up to your sunhats in tomatoes and fresh basil. What to do with this sun-induced surplus? Make Bruschetta!
As far back as the 15th century, peasants were enjoying this delectable appetizer. Today, it holds much more wide-spread appeal. Pronounced (brus'ketta), the name comes from a Roman word meaning "to roast over coals", as the bread was originally roasted over the fire before being topped with the other ingredients.
There are many variations in preparation. The most common is toasted bread, rubbed with garlic and topped with tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper, and fresh basil. Less common versions include red peppers, olives or other vegetables, meat, beans or cheese. Typically, you use a crusty round of bread, such as a sliced baguette. Quality extra virgin olive oil tastes the best.
When I had a bigger garden, this was my go-to dish for family July 4th celebrations. It was enjoyed without fail by relatives of all ages. Now I make it in much smaller batches just for us, since my container garden isn't up to those quantities!
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It goes particularly well with a glass of wine! Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Chianti, and Sangiovese are excellent paired with Bruschetta. If you prefer a sparkling wine, try Prosecco. Let me know how you like it!