I received a complimentary Private Cooking Class from The Chef & The Dish. The opinions are mine alone.
Traditional Bruschetta combines a few simple, quality ingredients for an amazingly flavorful appetizer. These delicious bites are easy to make and hold well, making them perfect for entertaining or even as a snack.
Last month I took part in The Chef & The Dish, a private Skype cooking class. The Chef & The Dish partners with acclaimed Chefs from around the world, who have years of training, and experience at some of the top restaurants in the world. The Chefs are experts in their local cuisine and have a passion for sharing their knowledge with you.
The Chef & The Dish is such a fun and unique experience! It’s great for date night, Sunday Funday, or even a group dinner party. You select the cuisine and participate in a 20-minute Kitchen Prep Session with a staff member a few days before the class. The class itself is about 2 hours long, and you prepare a 3-course meal. Your Chef cooks right along with you, giving you tips and pointers along the way.
I chose the Parmigiano Class, hosted by Chef Paola Martinenghi, and invited April & Ronni to eat and help me in the kitchen. A couple of weeks ago I shared the dessert course, Poached Pears with Parmigiano Reggiano and Ricotta. Today its appetizer time, with Traditional Bruschetta
I’ve eaten a lot of bruschetta in my life, and this is absolutely one of the best. The garlic melts into the crusty bread. I was a little worried the cooked tomatoes would be soggy, but they are not at all.
INGREDIENTS FOR TRADITIONAL BRUSCHETTA
- Italian loaf bread
- Vine-ripened tomatoes
- Good quality olive oil or avocado oil
- Coarse sea salt
- Fresh basil
- Raw garlic
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
I love that Traditional Bruschetta is such a simple recipe, and with just a few high-quality ingredients.
ITALIAN BREAD AND GARLIC CREATE THE PERFECT TRADITIONAL BRUSCHETTA BASE
- You’ll find Italian loaves in the bakery section of your grocery store. I have used the “take and bake” Italian loaf when I couldn’t find fresh-baked and it works just as well
- Don’t skimp on the bread slices. You want the bread to be about 3/4″ thick so it stands up to the garlic and tomatoes
- Chef Paola used much longer slices than I do here, and when we did the class we did the same. But I could only fit half a slice in my toaster at a time, so it took twice as long. And that’s a pain. So now I look for loaves that aren’t as fat in the middle so it toasts easily. This also creates Traditional Bruschetta that is more of a finger food. The choice is yours.
- Don’t be shy with the garlic! I rub both sides of the bread generously. Even though its raw garlic, the flavor is still mellow. The garlic melts into the bread, creating an amazing flavor
USE VINE-RIPENED TOMATOES FOR TRADITIONAL BRUSCHETTA
- Make sure to score the bottom of each tomato using a sharp knife before adding it to the boiling water. Once the skin separates from the tomatoes, remove the tomatoes and immerse immediately into an ice bath to stop the cooking. I use a Spider Strainer, but a slotted spoon works as well.
- As soon as the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, remove the skin. It should easily peel off with a knife, or even just your hands.
- Drizzle the chopped tomatoes generously with good quality Olive Oil
- I add just a little bit of Coarse Sea Salt to the tomatoes, to enhance the flavor
- Don’t let any of that glorious tomato juice go to waste! That juice is flavor, and it doesn’t make the bread soggy at all
- Pile each bread slice with a generous amount of tomatoes
FINAL STEPS FOR TRADITIONAL BRUSCHETTA
- Once you dress the bread with the tomatoes and juice, allow the Traditional Bruschetta to rest for about 15 minutes, so the flavors develop
- Garnish Traditional Bruschetta with fresh basil. Chopping the basil bruises it, so rip the basil instead. Trust me, I got reprimanded for getting out my knife!
- Shave slices of Parmigiano Reggiano onto the Traditional Bruschetta. I use a Vegetable Peeler, but you could also use a Cheese Slicer. I’m way less generous than Chef Paola with how much Parmigiano Reggiano I use, but the choice is yours
The great thing about Traditional Bruschetta is that you can make it ahead and it holds up well, so it’s a great party appetizer. You can prep the tomatoes a few hours ahead, and assemble everything about an hour ahead.
SHOP THIS RECIPE
- 1 Italian bread loaf
- 2 large cloves raw garlic
- 4 vine-ripened tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
- Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (for garnish)
- fresh basil (for garnish)
- Using a very sharp knife, score the bottom of each tomato with an X. Take care to only score the skin, and not cut deep into the tomato. This will make it much easier to remove the skin
- Fill a bowl with water and ice cubes. Set aside
- Bring a medium pot of water to a rolling boil. Carefully drop tomatoes into water. Once tomato skin pulls away at the scored X, remove tomatoes with a slotted spoon or spider strainer and immediately immerse into ice bath.
- NOTE: Tomato cooking time varies based on ripeness of tomatoes, but will take approximately 5 minutes
- Once tomatoes are cool enough to handle (1-2 minutes for me), remove from ice bath and peel skin. You may need to use a knife, but you may even be able to just use your fingers. Discard skin
- Chop tomatoes into bite-sized chunks. Season with sea salt and oil. Set aside to rest for about 15 minutes.
- While tomatoes rest, prepare the toast. Slice bread at about a 45-degree angle into slices about 3/4" thick. Toast bread well, until charred and crusty. I set my toaster at 5 1/2.
- Peel garlic, and slice a very thin piece off one edge. Beginning with the sliced edge, rub garlic generously on both sides of each slice of toast. The garlic will melt into the toast, and you will use almost all of the garlic.
- Place toast on a platter. Spoon tomatoes and juice generously on each piece of toast. Rip fresh basil into small pieces and garnish each bruschetta. Using vegetable peeler or cheese slicer, shave slices of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese onto bruschetta