I’ve made bruschetta quite a few times but wanted to check a proper recipe to be sure I was not missing anything important. I consulted The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan (a most excellent source!), then ignored a lot of her instructions.
The bit about building a fire to grill the bread was a bit extreme. Instead, I put the bread on my griddler machine which resulted in:
1. bread that wasn’t dried out, which is what happens when I put it under the broiler in the oven, and
2. beautiful grill marks on the bread. I know they get covered when the tomatoes are piled on, but I know they are there.
Also done differently than the recipe: adding minced garlic to the tomatoes and basil (sliced, not torn) after using it on the grilled bread, using a beefsteak instead of a plum tomato and mixing all the ingredients together before spooning them on the bread.
This is late summer on a slice.
Get the bread. Slice it as per the recipe and grill it.
While the bread is acquiring the grill marks, get a perfect tomato.
Deseed and chop the tomato.
Check out the bread… perfect! Rub the garlic on the bread.
Mince the used garlic.
Mince the basil too.
Place mounds of the tomato mixture on the bread. Drizzle this with olive oil if you feel like it.
Here’s a link to the recipe. It’s in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan.
Bruschetta–Roman Garlic Bread
for 6 to 12 servings
6 garlic cloves
12 slices good, thick-crusted bread, 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick, 3 to 4 inches wide
Extra virgin olive oil, fruity and young
Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
1. Preheat a broiler or, even better, light a charcoal fire.
2. Mash the garlic cloves with a heavy knife handle, crushing them just enough to split them and to loosen the peel, which you will remove and discard.
3. Grill the bread to a golden brown n both sides.
4. As the bread comes off the grill, while it is still hot, rub one side of the slice with the mashed garlic.
5. Put the bread on a platter, garlicky side facing up, and pour a thin stream of olive oil over each slice, enough to soak it slightly.
6. Sprinkle with salt and a few grindings of pepper. Serve while still warm.
The Tomato Version
All the ingredients given in the recipe above plus
8 fresh, ripe plum tomatoes
8 to 12 fresh basil leaves OR a few pinches oregano
1. Wash the tomatoes, split them in half lengthwise, and with the tip of a paring knife pick out all the seeds you can. Dice the tomatoes into 1/2-inch cubes.
2. Wash the basil leaves, shake them thoroughly dry, and tear them into small pieces. (Omit this step if using oregano.)
3. After rubbing the hot grilled bread with garlic as directed in recipe above, top it with diced tomato, sprinkle with basil or oregano, add salt and pepper, and lightly drizzle each slice with olive oil. Serve while still warm.