There seems to be a bit of a disagreement around these parts (meaning in my family) about what “bruschetta” actually is and how the word is actually pronounced. For years, I pronounced it “bru-shetta” and believed it to be a savoury, raw tomato-based topping on slices of toasted French bread. Then I read this in Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: “Bruschetta (pronounced bruce-ketta), a traditional shepherd’s lunch, is a simple and succulent dish – grilled or toasted peasant bread, rubbed with raw garlic and drizzled with olive oil. This is perfect by itself or can easily become the base for Crostini. Crostini (“toast” in Italian) is sliced crisp bread with a savoury topping.” And Wikipedia defines bruschetta as, “an antipasto from Italy consisting of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with tomatoes, olive oil , salt and pepper.” So now I’m not sure what to call these delightful and delicious appetizers … should I call them bruschetta because they are definitely slices of bread rubbed with oil and garlic, or should I call them crostini because they are definitely slices of bread with a savoury topping? Either way, this is a delicious dish and perfect for eating on the patio or deck in the summer. Here’s how to make it:
1 loaf fresh French bread
1 clove garlic, peeled and halved crossways
1 tsp or so of olive oil
2 tomatoes, diced (garden or market fresh are best)
1/4 of a small red onion, finely chopped
handful of cilantro, chopped
1 tsp or so of rice wine vinegar
a sprinkling of salt
Slice the French bread into slices about 3 cm thick. Pour the olive oil into a little dish and add the garlic. Rub the oiled garlic onto the bread slices. You can lightly toast the bread under the broiler now if you like or you can leave the bread untoasted if you can’t face turning the oven on in the heat of the summer.
Gently toss together the diced tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, rice wine vinegar and salt.
I used some coarse salt which I bought at the Ladner Market from a vendor who hails from Sooke, Vancouver Island. Salt West is a new company that produces sea salt using environmentally sustainable methods.
Pile the tomato mixture onto the slices of bread and eat right away. Yum!