You know when you fancy something a bit different? Something healthy but which still tastes like a treat? Well, this totally ticks all those boxes. Bruschetta is one of those lovely antipasto dishes from Italy, which makes us me long to rush off on Holiday to Tuscany. It’s rather like a sophisticated Italian version of an open sandwich, and the best thing is that everyone can tuck in and help themselves!
So, for your next party have yourself a delicious bite of Italy and do a Bruschetta bar – great for sharing with friends and it looks super impressive too!
I have included recipes for three different toppings: the classic Tomato & Basil, a creamy avocado and lime dip and a tangy chestnut mushroom topping, but you can add in any other Italian antipasti that you fancy: flaked parmesan cheese, salami, Parma ham, olives, artichokes in oil, even a creamy goats cheese.
When you come to serve the bruschetta don’t forget to put some halved cloves of garlic in a bowl, then your guests can rub the garlic across the toasted bread before they add their topping for a real Italian flavour.
The quantities here can be scaled up really easily but all 3 recipes together will serve approx. 6 for a light lunch.
For the Bruschetta
- 2 French baguettes or 3 ciabatta loaves
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and halved
Slice your bread in 1cm slices – diagonally is best – you can fit more topping on larger slices! You can toast your bread anyway you like: in a toaster, on a griddle pan or under the grill. Then let it cool.
Put the garlic cloves in a little dish and instruct your guests to rub the slices of bread with garlic before they add their chosen topping.
Tomato & Basil Bruschetta
- 3 large ripe tomatoes
- 1 handful of fresh basil (or oregano would be equally good)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut each tomato into wedges and scoop out and discard the seeds. Roughly chop the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and then toss in the chopped basil and olive oil.
Avocado & Lime Bruschetta
- 2 ripe avocadoes
- 2 limes
- salt & freshly ground pepper
You need really nice ripe avocado for this topping and then it’s super-simple to make. Cut your avocado in half, scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork along with the juice of 2 limes and some freshly ground pepper and a pinch of salt. The lime juice will also help to stop the avocado from discoloring.
Tangy Mushroom Bruschetta
- 12 chestnut mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 lemon
Melt your butter in a shallow frying pan and slice the mushrooms (not too thinly – about 5mm thick). Once the butter is melted add your olive oil and turn up the heat, the olive oil helps stop the butter from burning. Add your mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until they start to soften, then squeeze over your lemon juice and serve!
Serving suggestion: to serve just put each topping into a different dish along with any extras you fancy and a basket of toasted bread, then let people assemble as they go!