18 October 2012

Bruschetta Party

This summer, a trip to Simon Boca Negra, an amazing foccaceria in Sarzana, inspired us to make an aperitivo of varied bruschette. This is a fun and easy dinner to throw together for yourself or for a party and the possibilities are limited only by your imagination!
**Rant Alert**
While we're on the topic of bruschetta, I will share with you one of my ultimate pet-peeves: pronouncing it "brusheta" with a "sh" sound. The correct way to pronounce it is "bru-sketta", with a hard "c". I am a very quiet person and I rarely correct people when things are mispronounced--but ever since getting into an argument with a waitress about it, I cannot stand this mispronunciation! I was in an ITALIAN restaurant in Wisconsin and politely mentioned the correct way of pronouncing it, where the waitress proceeded to ARGUE with me about it. I am now compelled to correct this very common mistake. And just in case you feel particularly attached to pronouncing bruschetta with a "sh", let me ad that any Italian word with the letters: "sch" is pronounced "sk"--it's a rule, not my opinion. 

Okay, we can move on now...

We sliced a rustic loaf lengthwise which gave us 4 long slices for the bruschetta and toasted them lightly in the oven. First we made the classic caprese, with fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and basil. I sliced everything in halves, mixed them with some fresh extra virgin olive oil, slivered fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper. I spread the mix out on the bread and garnished with whole basil leaves and a drizzle of balsamic glaze.

*Tip: The Italian way to add garlic to bruschetta is to gently rub a clove over the toasted bread. This will give a nice garlic flavor without overpowering the topping with garlic.

Then my husband popped open a can of cannelini beans, rinsed and drained them well and mixed them with a can of Italian tuna in oil (a bit pricey outside of Italy, but far superior in flavor), a generous sprinkling of black pepper, a splash of cider vinegar for acidity, a pinch of salt and sliced scallions. This was his creation on a whim and though it may not sound very delicious, it wound up being our favorite.

My creation was layering slices of scamorza (smoked mozzarella) and cherry preserves. I heated the scamorza in the oven until just melted and while still hot, scooped fresh cherry preserves on top. Super simple, but the woodsy, smoked flavor of the scamorza paired beautifully with the tart and sweet cherry, making it an elegant and delightful choice!

The last bruschetta was topped with baby arugula, tossed with the remaining cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper and shaved, aged parmigiano.

Another great addition to an aperitivo menu is cubes of aged parmigiano with fig jam. The combination of salty, savory and sweet is quite literally a party in your mouth! 

What a spread! Slice up the bruschette into pieces and serve all together with some fresh fruit and few chips/crisps. Mix up some Aperol Spritz' and you'll have the real, authentic Italian aperitivo experience! For the Spritz recipe, click here.

Cin Cin!


  1. Yeah, Italian really know how to take simple ingredients(great quality and really fresh) and make them fabulous! I love the diversity of how different regions use what's on offer....even with regards to wild foods. Compliments for a beautiful and interesting blog.

    1. Thank you! I love the abundance of wild food here, isn't it amazing? That's way I like your blog!

  2. I LOVE these Bruschetta recipes! And I 100% agree with your pronunciation pet peeve! Imagine my frustration whenever my father in law says Italian, but sounds like "Eyetalian"! Ugh! When was Italy renamed Eyetaly?
    I hope your winter has been great!

    1. OMG, Trina, I KNOW!!!! I HATE THAT eye-talian thing too!!! It drives me nuts! Thank you for your moral pronunciation support! :)
      Our winter has been cold and it snowed yesterday! Dreaming of the weather we had when you came! Hope your winter has been great!

  3. Ciao Nicole! I have to make another quick comment about your husband's bruschetta. I made it the other night for an appetizer at a family event and it was AMAZING! I did add some fresh Rosemary also (I am a bit addicted to Rosemary), and it added another element to it. YUMMY!
    Blessings! I hope to see you this spring/ summer! Am working my magic! Trina

    1. Oh, I'm glad it was a hit! I'm sure rosemary was a fantastic addition, I'll have to make it again with the rosemary.
      It would be great to see you again...keep me posted.


I really appreciate your comments.

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