A friend of mine spent his college sophomore year studying in Italy. I learned how to pronounce (and to make) bruschetta from him. He says, “You pronounce it BROO-SKET-TA. That’s right. It is not BRAH-SHEDA. It’s BROO-SKET-TA. If you can roll that R a little, that would be great!”
So what is BROO-SKET-TA? It is, quite simply, toast. The word comes from the Italian verb ‘brusciare’, meaning ‘to burn’ or ‘to toast’. Bruschetta is made by placing a piece of bread on a grill and turning it every few seconds until it is toasted. Of course, doing it with Italian bread is preferred. At that point, it is truly Bruschetta. What you put on top of it is completely up to you.
My bruschetta is simple and fresh. It is topped with diced tomatoes in a balsamic-basil dressing. Fresh Mozzarella is layered in-between the tomatoes and the toast. What could be better than that?
2 fresh medium tomatoes (diced)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh basil (chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 baguette (sliced diagonally)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
5 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese (sliced thin)
Mix tomatoes, vinegar, basil and garlic in a small bowl. Set aside.
Brush baguette slices with olive oil. Broil in the oven for 1 to 2 minutes or until toasty on one side. Remove from oven and place a thin slice of cheese, and a small spoonful of tomato mixture on the untoasted side of each baguette slice.
Place slices on a baking sheet and broil for 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Watch carefully to make sure cheese does not burn. Serve hot from the oven.