Tasty bruchetta ideas

The south of Italy is famous for that wonderful gem called the bruchetta. We have all taken the bruchetta and made it our own. It’s great at this time of the year if you are having people over for a barbecue as an informal starter.

The south of Italy is famous for that wonderful gem called the bruchetta. We have all taken the bruchetta and made it our own. It’s great at this time of the year if you are having people over for a barbecue as an informal starter.

Basically it’s a slice of toasted or grilled ciabatta, rubbed with garlic and drizzled with olive oil. With a pinch of salt and a twist of black pepper can be enjoyed as it is, but as I said it comes from the south of Italy you would expect to find chopped tomato and basil on top. So taking it on a step further you can change the toppings to suit your own tastes and what ever selection of toppings you may have in your store cupboard. My favorite topping is roasted pepper and cannellini bean puree, you can buy cannellini beans in the supermarket, but I often make it with a tin of baked beans which I place in a sieve and wash off the tomato sauce. So here are a selection of bruchetta for you to enjoy.

TOMATO AND BASIL BRUCHETTA

10Slices of cibatta, brushed with olive oil and toasted on both sides

1Clove of garlic

5Ripe tomatoes, deseeded and chopped

1Red onion, chopped

Handful of basil

Olive oil

Salt and pepper

Brush the cibatta with the clove of garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Mix the chopped onion and tomato together in a bowl. Spoon the mixture over the cibatta. Tear the basil leaves and scatter over the tomato and drizzle with more olive oil.

MUSHROOM BRUCHETTA

10Slices of cibatta, brushed with olive oil and toasted on both sides

1Clove of garlic

8ozMushrooms, sliced

1ozButter

1Small onion , chopped

2tbspSherry

Salt and pepper

1tbspChopped thyme

Parmesan cheese

1tbspOlive oil

Heat the oil and butter in a pan. Fry the onion and mushrooms for about 3 minutes. Add in the sherry and cook for about 2 minutes to cook off the alcohol. Season with salt and pepper and add in the chopped thyme. Spoon onto the toasted cibatta, place some parmesan cheese on top and drizzle with olive oil.

BRUCHETTA WITH ROAST PEPPER AND CANNELLINI BEAN PUREE

6tbspOlive oil

1Small onion, chopped

1tspSmoked paprika

1Tin of cannellini beans [400grm]

2Roasted peppers [from a jar]

2ozPitted black olives

Juice of half a lemon

Rocket leaves

Salt and pepper

Chopped parsley

1Cibatta cut into ten or twelve slices

1Clove of garlic

Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and fry the onion till cooked. Add the smoked paprika and cook for a further two minutes. Place the onion, beans, roasted pepper and two more tablespoons of oil in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Chop the black olives and mix with a tablespoon of chopped parsley some olive oil and leave to one side. Rub the slices of bread with garlic and grill on both sides. To serve, spread the bean mixture on the toasted bread, spoon some of the olives on top, sprinkle with chopped parsley and drizzle with olive oil.

Truffle oil and chili oil are also great for drizzling over bruchetta. Also good are slices of Parma ham. Toasted bread rubbed with garlic is your base, after that the toppings are up to you, so get creating bruchetta. Try some slices of fresh fruit, like peaches and figs. The combination of savory and sweet is great.