Misspelled and often mispronounced, Bruschetta (to pronounce as bru’skétta) is one of the oldest food preparations in Italy.
The name comes from the word “brusca“, for the ruvid texture of its bread may resemble that of a scrubbing-brush, while the Italian verb “bruscare” means to char or to roast over the fire. The use of chopped tomatoes as a topping is a recent addition to the first slice of grilled bread, dressed with oil and salt, ingeniously created by the ancient Etruscans some millennia ago.
Nowadays, the Tuscan farmers of Maremma still prepare their version, called Fettunta, with a saltless bread to better taste the aromas of new olive oil.
Here’s the recipe for the Authentic Italian Bruschetta!
Ingredients for 2 servings:
4 thick slices of Pane Toscano (Tuscan Bread) or Pane Rustico (Rustic Italian Bread);
4 ripe tomatoes;
1 clove of garlic;
6-8 leaves of basil;
extra virgin olive oil;
salt & pepper.
Chop the tomatoes in small dices and place them in a bowl. Generously drizzle with premium quality Italian extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt to taste.
Tear the basil leaves with your hands and mix them together with the rest.
Leave aside for a couple of minutes, so the flavours can marry.
Meanwhile, cut four 1cm thick (0.5 inch) slices of bread.
Grill them on the fire, or in the kitchen oven. Alternatively, you can use a toaster.
Bake until their surface becomes slightly golden on both sides.
The external part of the bread should be crunchy while the inside should remain soft.
Grilling will take no more than 5-10 minutes, depending on the method you choose.
Once your slices are ready, take a clove of garlic, peel the skin off, and rub it lightly on one side of the bread to obtain a reasonable aroma, or on both sides, if you are a true garlic lover!
Sprinkle some salt on top of each slice in case you’re using the Pane Toscano Bread, and add a few drops of extra virgin olive oil on the surface…your authentic Italian Bruschetta is done and already delicious as it is!
Dress with the chopped tomatoes prepared earlier to make the classic Bruschetta al pomodoro or try with freshly cut Prosciutto Crudo ham on top.
Bruschetta tastes best when the bread is still hot.