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Bruschetta thread: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication! Crostino thread too!

What is better than something good? Something cheap, simple, fast and still good!
Do you prefer elaborated things? There's room for this too!
Let's start with the difference between bruschetta and crostino.
  • Short answer: i don't know and it's not vital
  • Long answer: someone says when you put cheese above bread, someone says crostino is thinner and crunchier all over, bruschetta not in the middle, bruschetta is larger and more raw, crostino is smaller and more elegant
    Since i'm not a food student but i like to eat i'd say that if it's good... It's good! 
    I've not a certified recipe and from now on i mainly refer to bruschetta.
So what do we talk here? Roasted bread with toppings!
Bruschetta is born as a poor men dish. I associate it to pizza because you similarly have a base and toppings. I consider pizza to be a nobler food and superior if done correctly, but bruschetta has its use and it's something different (and you don't have to learn the fine art of making dough).
Why is bruschetta interesting?
  • it's cheap and fast to do (seriously, if you have pepper purea and grilled sliced bread you don't need anything else. I hardly call it a recipe but... It works).
  • it's easy to do: if you haven't perfect ingredients or cooking... Something good still comes out!
  • imho it's the ultimate food for spreading sauces. I consider it superior to pizza for this purpose (i'm a purist of puree tomato in pizza). I consider it to be more free form than pizza.
  • Outstanding with various salami and hams before and after cooking (lard after cooking on an hot grilled bread is the most dangerous food ever... You can eat countless slices and don't notice that you are eating enough calories to run NY for 1 day!)
  • It's really good
  • It's different from pizza.
  • Wonderful with hot stuff of all kinds
About bread
  • There are many types, mainly i use “pane pugliese” or “ciabatta”. There are other specialized breads for bruschetta and they're good especially when you use cheese and many other toppings. I still prefer ciabatta in any case and pane pugliese for simpler recipes. For ciabatta i use the side effect of my grill that it press it, otherwise it's difficult to use. Another great thing is pane toscano (wich is without salt)  with lardo di Colonnata (one would say best lard in the world). And there are many other traditions i don't know.
  • Sandwich bread is surely good for this.
  • You can use special bread too (for example with minced olives or tomato).
  • Wich tickness? 1 cm is a good start, then experiment and see it yourself. ;) It's important that you don't have holes  otherwise toppings will fall (well, if you use only pepperoni as topping this is not true... If you don't have huge holes! For ciabatta i use a different approach: i cut in half in crust direction, it has too holes and press while precook. Result is amazing).
  • I use a double grill with 3 heat positions and with a grill position suitable for grilling bread and another suitable for cooking whithout touching top side, it's sometimes a little weak when cooking the more complex bruschettas with cheese but with some patience you got the right cooking and i'm satisfied with it.
  • I suppose you could use electrical oven too especially if you have to cook heay ingredients, i have no memories of when i tried.
  • Sometimes a friend of mine uses a pan to toast sliced bread and another uses microwave oven with crisp function.
  • A wood powered oven (like ones for pizza) should be really good...
  • Probably the best would be a grill with embers beneath (i believe this is the original equipment), but it's easy to burn bread, it's difficult to have (not everyone has a fireplace), and if you have heavy toppings i doubt you could cook it before burning the underneath side... But for a simple one it's awesome.
  • Use wathever you think can do and see if it works.
Some things to pay attention:
  • right amount of salt: too less and it seems dull, too much and it's unpleasant
  • cheese that casts out too much liquid (mozzarella for example): it's not good if bread is drenched with this and sometimes it doesn't dry properly. In pizza this is diffent and easier. I prefer a cheese with a stronger taste in bruschetta than in pizza). If you want use this cheese you can cut it hours before using and put it in a sloping cutting board.
  • Put the right amount of toppings: sometimes a lower amount than too much is tastier!
  • Better to have good ingredients... With simple recipes you notice ingredients quality
The basic bruschetta (or at least i call it so)
"Perfection is Achieved Not When There Is Nothing More to Add, But When There Is Nothing Left to Take Away"
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

  • sliced bread (pugliese is perfect)
  • cloves of garlic
  • evo oil
  • tomato puree (also chopped fresh tomato is good, i prefer with puree)
  • salt if tomato puree hasn't (important to have the right amount!)
  • pepper powder or fresh pepper (mandatory for us hot heads!)
  • oregano (strongly suggested)
  • You toast sliced bread until is crunch and colored in the external. In the middle is better if it is a little soft, but it's not a tragedy if it isn't. Pay attention not to burn the bread (it's carcinogenic and has an awful taste). The external should have a rasp effect.
  • Then you rub clove a of garlic in the slice, you should consume it by rubbing (you can grind it finely too and put it later above tomato, but i prefer this way).
  • You spread the oil above (a teaspoon or a tablespoon is good, the more is better but anti healthier too). Imho if the oil has a physical direct contact with bread is way better. If you put it after puree tomato it's easier to spread, but not the same thing.
  • You spread tomato puee (or put sliced tomato).
  • Salt if needed.
  • Then pepper powder (and/or chopped pepper) and oregano.
  • Then eat it!!! 

One of the simplest bruschetta but imho the truest and probabily best form!
The only drawback is that you can eat 5 of this and don't notice that you have actually eaten something!
This is of course only a start (but an excellent one!). You can of course add heavier toppings of all kind... In general you have to toast the bread, a little less than one in the above recipe, then top it and cook again.
If you ask me rubbed garlic and oil are always welcome that i'd put in every bruschetta.
Another example:
  • garlic
  • oil
  • random hot sauce
  • tomato puree
  • smoked scamorza (cheese)
  • Napoli pepperoni
  • olive
  • anchovies
  • capers
  • vienna salami
  • as before, roast bread, then rub garlic, spread oil
  • spread hot sauce
  • spread tomato, salt if needed
  • put smoked scamorza, Napoli pepperoni, olives, capers, anchovies, vienna salami
  • cook until ready

Still quite classic but effective. In that case it's better a different bread (i still used pugliese because it was the one i had).
As said you can add various salami, hams, meat, fish, mushrooms, your best sauces, all cheese types (with care), egg, all kinds of vegetables and so on.
Or butter and jam... 
To summarize: stellar rank of (taste*ease*flexibility)/(money*time) ratio. 
Show your bruschetta!
Have mercy Essi!
Could you possibly post any more awesome?
The last pic with the olives and speck is making me swoon like a little girl.
Dang Essi.
You must be a martial artist.
Your kung fu is VERY good!
Looks more like cheese topped with bruschetta.
I like it!
coki said:
Brochettes of spicy ricotta.:

1 tablespoon ricotta
1 tablespoon tomato salsa
2 tablespoon Red habanero sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch salt

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Had guests but one unexpectedly had not made lunch so we needed to repair:

Not really a bruschetta, leftover polenta di Storo, with Asiago, Masdam, grated Grana Padano, pepperoni. All cooked fast in microwave with crisp. The guy was happy with that. After 5 mins was still very hot!
Essegi said:
Thanks Nate! European hake. TB would not be happy about that... :P
I don't have a problem with hake per se although it is pretty over harvested.
The real problem I would have is if its been in a barrel of salt like salt cod.
And thats just a personal thang.
Other than that I say eat the hell out of that hake.
That's sniffing the fine line between Bruschetta and French Bread Pizza!!!!
Can I have mine with extra pickles???