Bruschetta and Italy!

The first time I tried bruschetta (pronounced -broo-skeh-tah) I was taken back by the fresh garlic rubbed on the toasted bread and then of course the fresh tomatoes and basil which seem to burst with flavor in your mouth.  I had the good fortune to study abroad during college and lived in Rome, Italy.  I visited over 70 churches, picnicked on the Palatine hill, and ruins of Ostia Antica

Pictured: Amphitheatre at Ostia Antica

I regularly visited markets and discovered blood oranges and their explosive juices and glorious color along with just about every other piece of produce at the market.  Life is so simple there: beautiful places, beautiful foods, beautiful people.

Pictured: Campo De Fiore Market

The things you can count on in Rome are the vespa scooters, the mix of ancient and modern, an endless amount of fountains to visit at night...

Pictured: Piazza Navona Fountain

The gelato is readily available...

Pictured: Pistachio Gelato from Della Palma

and of course our topic today the bruschetta

A mixed history of when bruschetta came to be is that by the 15th century it was a staple in Italy.  The origin however they think goes back to toasting bread in ancient Rome for tasting the first seasonal olive oil press in the fall at the markets.  "allora" as they Romans say let move on to the construction of the glorious starter dish.  

Slice your bread in small pieces toast gently in your pan.  We love our Staub grill for this task (available at Bench and Board). 

Pictured: Staub Grill with bread toasting

Peel fresh garlic and rub the toasted bread with the clove.  Chop a pound of very ripe tomatoes and then salt them and drain. Add in 5 tbs. of olive oil (extra virgin olive oil) you can warm the oil gently with garlic if you want a little extra garlic flavor.  Slice or rip about 10 leaves of fresh basil.  Combine the oil, drained tomatoes and basil in a bowl.  Serve your bruschetta by spooning the tomatoes on the bread and then enjoy.  The fun thing about bruschetta is you can alter the ingredients... we added a little fresh burrata to ours. 

Pictured: Bread, Tomato Mix, and Fresh Burrata Cheese

Other ideas are olive tapenade, roasted red pepper, or even some salami.  Take this dish where your palate leads you!

This beautiful bruschetta was waiting for us upon our arrival at one of our favorite stays in Riomaggiore in Cinque Terra at the Terra Prima Suites with the most gracious and hilarious host on earth! 

Pictured: Our welcome at Terra Prima Suites

I'll leave you with a picture meant to induce Wanderlust! 

Pictured: Riomaggiore at Cinque Terra in Italy.

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