Bruschetta is an antipasto (starter dish) from Italy consisting of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and salt. Variations may include toppings of tomato, vegetables, beans, cured meat, or cheese, a popular dish is Bruschetta  pomodoro; the most popular recipe outside of Italy involves basil, fresh tomato,garlic and onion or mozzarella. Bruschetta is usually served as a snack or appetizer. In some countries, a topping of chopped tomato, olive oil and herbs is marketed under the bruschetta name.

Bruschetta is a fresh, simple and delicious Italian appetizer that can be prepared in minutes and enjoyed any time of the year. In its simplest Italian form, Bruschetta requires that bread be toasted over real coals, then rubbed down with slices of raw garlic, drizzled with olive oil and finished with a little bit of sea salt and fresh pepper.

Variations evolved to further incorporate things like chopped tomatoes, beans and fresh herbs.  This recipe recreates the standard Italian tomato Bruschetta that you’d often be served in an Italian restaurant to start off your favorite Italian meal, quickly and easily in your own kitchen. Since Bruschetta is made up of very simple flavors, it is therefore best if you make it with highest quality and freshest ingredients you can find.

For the Toppings:

Summary

  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Course: Antipasto

Ingredients

4 fresh tomatoes chopped
1 small green bell pepper chopped
1/4 cup cheese cubes
4 to 5 green olives
4 to 5 black olives
1/2 onion chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic finely chopped
1 bunch fresh basil chopped
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground pepper
Grated cheese for garnishing
12 slices of Italian bread or baguette
Fresh Green Pesto
one Pesto is a popular Italian sauce that’s hard to miss, what with Italian cuisine being such a popular globally. Pesto is a sauce originating in Genoa in the Liguria region of northern Italyand traditionally consists of crushed garlic, basil, and Europeanpine nutsblended witholive oil,  Parmesan cheese, and Fiore Sardo (cheese made from sheep’s milk).

Steps

  1. Pesto is traditionally prepared in a marble mortar with a wooden pestle. First, garlic and pine nuts are placed in the mortar and reduced to a cream,then the washed and dried basil leaves are added with coarse salt and ground to a creamy consistency. After which Parmesan cheese is added. To help incorporate the cheese a little extra-virgin olive oil is added. This can be stored In an air-tight container, covered by a layer of extra-virgin olive oil, up to a week, and can be frozen for later use.

I have stayed with the recipe for the most part except to replace pine nuts with roasted groundnuts and replaced the normal garlic with roasted garlic to give it’s a smoky feeling. I must say the roasted garlic really enhance the flavor of the pesto.

Ingredients

2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 cloves roasted garlic
1/4 cup roasted groundnuts
1 tbsp lemon juice, freshly squeezed
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Steps

  1. Combine the basil, garlic, lemon juice, and groundnuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely ground. Add ¼ cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining oil, cheese and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl.
  2. Fresh basil walnut pesto is ready. Taste and see if it needs more pepper or salt and add as needed.Remember that the Parmesan cheese will add some saltiness too, so go light on salt in the beginning, you can always add more as needed. Pesto tastes great as a dip with crackers or cut up vegetable sticks. Go ahead, make yourself some!
  3. Let’s learn how to prepare Bruschetta:
  4. Preheat oven to 250°C.
  5. Combine tomato, bell pepper, onion, garlic, green and black olives, cheese, basil, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl and set aside.
  6. Arrange bread slices on baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until golden brown.
  7. Now spread the green pesto on each bread slices and top with tomato mixture and grated cheese.
  8. Serve immediately.

Sending this recipe to Foodie Monday Blog Hop theme#”International Cuisine-Starters”

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