Monday, November 22, 2010

Countdown to Thanksgiving: Bruschetta

Bruschetta (pronounced brus-ketta), from the Italian bruscare meaning to toast over coals. In Italy, the season for new olive oil is getting underway now and a simple bruschetta is a favorite way to celebrate the new flavors. The traditional bruschetta is just a slice of toasted bread rubbed with raw garlic and drizzled with olived oil. Simple and delicious (and local if you happen to be going to Italy this winter).

You can dress up bruschetta any way you like. The options are nearly endless. My Mom makes Mario Batali's White Bean Bruschetta, which is a personal favorite of mine. My brother, Ryan, also makes another favorite, a simple garlic, tomato, and basil bruschetta, which I duplicated below, though not nearly as well as he makes it.

Tomato and Basil Bruschetta

Remove seeds from tomatoes. Salt insides and let drain while preparing toasts. Toast slices of thick Italian bread under the broiler until crispy (or use a toaster if you must, not quite the same and takes longer, but your oven might be a little overused on Thanksgiving. I understand.) Rub each slice with raw garlic. Chop tomatoes and basil. Spoon mixture onto toasts. Serve.

Even though tomatoes grown outdoors aren't in season right now, a lot of people are growing greenhouse or hydroponic tomatoes locally because they are so popular. Chances are, you'll be able to find some at the farmer's market.

Roasted Red Pepper Bruschetta

The method is the same as above: toast, rub with garlic, add topping. If you roasted and jarred red peppers over the summer use those, if not, you can probably find some jarred, roasted ones at the farmer's market.

Other bruschetta topping options:
Apple or pear slices and cheese
Roasted garlic
Carrot Top Pesto
Mozzarella and herbs

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