Coast Cooking

Classic bruschetta is worth a try

Classically, a bruschetta, as taken from the “Silver Spoon” cookbook, the best selling Italian cook book in Italy for the past 50 years, is this: "a slice of homemade bread (that knocks most of us out right there, doesn't it?), lightly toasted, rubbed with garlic, seasoned with salt and drizzled with olive oil. Chopped tomato, oregano, and wild fennel may be added."

When presented with a good food idea chefs and home cooks alike often take off in a thousand different directions. Google bruschetta and you will find recipes that include every type of cheese, including mozzarella, Gorgonzola and goat’s cheese. You also will find other add-ons like honey, shrimp and every vegetable imaginable.

Those recipes may be good, but to a good Italian, like my friend Chef Paola Bugli at Stalla, it's just not bruschetta; maybe it’s a sandwich, maybe it's a canapé, maybe even a crostini, but it's not bruschetta.

One more caveat: bruschetta is best when toasted over a hard wood fire.


1 loaf crusty locally made bread

1-2 large cloves of garlic

Sea salt

Best quality olive oil

1 chopped tomato

1 bunch fresh basil

Slice the bread, toast it unadorned, then rub it with the whole clove of garlic (skin off of course). Toss the tomato, some olive oil and the chopped basil, spoon on to the toasted bread and add a nice drizzle of oil and a good pinch of salt.