Bruschetta are an amazingly simple, easy and delicious food for a snack, starter or nibbles for a party. There are a great variety of bruschetta toppings to suit all tastes and you can have fun making up your own.
The most popular are
These can be combined and are often made with herbs and olive oil. There are quick and easy recipes for all of those on the site. You can also find out about the bread for bruschetta and more serving suggestions.
What is bruschetta?
Bruschetta is Italian and one of many antipasto selections, so a form of starter or light first course. In its most basic form it is grilled bread with a topping and is a forerunner of garlic bread. Its exact roots might be disputed and it undergoes transformations as it travels about the world but is definitely very popular.
What can be used for bruschetta toppings?
It’s a pretty flexible setup in terms of what you can use.
Bruschetta toppings are normally – but not always – cold. Salads, cheese and cold meats make up the basic ingredients.
You can use whatever you have going spare in the fridge or pantry and indeed bruschetta works best with slightly stale bread so it is great for a last minute meal. Or you can head out to the shops and put together an exciting menu of different toppings for a party. Experiment with different cheeses and cured meats with fresh herbs and discover new favourites. Bruschetta can easily match and compliment a main meal as the perfect starter.
What is different about the bread for bruschetta?
Though people can and do make bruschetta with any bread it will work best with a thicker loaf that you can slice yourself for the perfect thickness. Ciabatta is getting easier and easier to find in the shops, or other French and Italian breads. You can also use sourdough.
The preparation of the bread is the most important feature. The bread is grilled or toasted, in the oven, toaster or on a griddle pan, for about 5 minutes. It is rubbed with garlic and olive oil. Scoring the bread helps those flavours soak in. Read more about bruschetta bread here.
Bruschetta toppings for vegetarians and vegans
There is plenty of variety amongst bruschetta toppings to offer one or more vegetarian or vegan option. Tomato salsa is vegan and mushroom toppings can be too, as long as the mushroom is prepared by frying in oil or vegan margarine. Though obviously out of bounds for vegans, make sure that any cheese used is suitable for vegetarians – many softer cheeses are not. Packaging has become much more informative so just check the back to see whether it says “suitable for vegetarians.”
Why is bruschetta so popular for entertaining?
Bruschetta make great party food for several reasons.
- They are really easy to make large batches of
- They don’t have to be served warm
- They are easy finger food
- They look amazing and stylish
Plus there is such a range of bruschetta toppings to chose from so you can have plenty of variety and something to suit everyone.
Kitchen equipment for making bruschetta
In keeping with being quick and simple to make there’s not much fuss required in cooking up bruschetta. Yes you can use a griddle pan but a regular oven tray under the grill works just as well. Many bruschetta toppings just require a chopping board and knife to put together. Easy to make and easy to clean up after too.