Bruschetta is one the easiest and flavorful Italian appetizers you can make in a jiffy. It also represents the Italian flag colors green, white and red. A few fresh ingredients and you are all set to go. Fresh baguette, very good quality extra virgin olive oil, ripe and firm tomatoes and basil are the ingredients you will need to make this dish.
My family and I tasted bruschetta and margherita pizza while on our trip to Sorrento, a coastal town in southwestern Italy. Both the dishes were finger licking good.
Baguette is a long and lean kind of french bread. I use the unbaked variety available in grocery stores. The bread can be baked in an oven or on a grill. Grilling makes the bread taste smoky. It is a good option if you are having outdoor parties.
Various toppings can be used on baguette but tomatoes and basil are by far the most popular. I tasted a whipped ricotta cheese spread on bruschetta in the Italian restaurant Romano’s Macaroni Grill.This is my version of the whipped ricotta shown below. Let’s get started and make bruschetta.
About 40 minutes
- 1 loaf French baguette or any long loaf of bread
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- 4 -5 ripe firm tomatoes
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp pepper powder
- 10-12 fresh basil leaves
- 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus 2 tsp
- 6-8 tbsp whipped ricotta cheese
To make whipped ricotta: Add ricotta to a bowl with ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper powder. You can use a hand mixer or a whisk to blend well. Whisk will take longer, but with a hand mixer it will take a minute or two. Drizzle with 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil and keep aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degree F
Cut baguette on an angle into ½ inch thick slices. Arrange on a baking sheet and brush each slice liberally with extra virgin olive oil.
Meanwhile dice the tomatoes and place in a bowl. Chiffonade basil, which means place or pile basil leaves on top of one another and roll and cut resulting in thin strips. Add to tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and olive oil and keep aside.
Bake the bread for 5-8 minutes until just crisp. When the bread is out of the oven rub garlic clove on each bread slice.
Spread the whipped ricotta on each slice. Spoon the tomato mixture on top and serve immediately.
Note: Do not buy the baked baguette as it will make it more tough when baked in the oven.
The famous proverb "you are what you eat” as quoted by the French author Anthelme Brillat-Savarin is very true. Food nourishes you from the inside out. Good health is of utmost importance to me. Vegetarianism and Veganism are gaining immense popularity these days. Natural, organic, healthy and homemade is my mantra.
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