Bruschetta

In Italy, bruschetta is typically served as an antipasto or snack and the topping varies with the region. For example, in the Abruzzo region, they typically top bruschetta with salame.

"Bruschetta" comes from the Roman "bruscare", meaning "to roast over coals" and it seems likely that the dish originated in ancient Rome and was originally used as a means to sample fresh-pressed olive oil.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the bruschetta
4-6 slices ciabatta or a crusty baguette
Clove of garlic
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the topping
2-3 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped and drained
Clove of crushed garlic
4-6 leaves of fresh basil, finely chopped or chiffonade
Balsamic vinegar
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation method
In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, garlic and basil using a large spoon, taking care not to mash or break up the tomatoes too much. Add a swig of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (in an approximate 2:1 ratio) and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix again and then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. This allows the flavours to blend together.

To make the bruschetta, heat a griddle pan until smoking (if you don't have a griddle, you can simply toast the ciabatta). Rub the ciabatta slices with garlic and then drizzle with the oil and season both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill for one minute on each side.

Assemble the bruschetta just before serving (you can take the topping out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving if you prefer it at room temperature).

Topping tips: You don't have to play it safe with a classic tomato and basil topping on your bruschetta - add whatever takes your fancy, such as olives and feta cheese, borlotti beans with tomatoes, garlic and rosemary, red onion pickle and halloumi, or grilled mushrooms and gorgonzola.

The Abruzzo region of Italy is often referred to as the country's best kept secret thanks to its pretty beaches and popular ski resorts, making it the perfect destination for all seasons. You can find out more about the holidays we offer in Abruzzo on our website.

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