Firing up the grill this weekend? Make bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKEH-tuh).
We love a DIY bruschetta bar. Just rub the bread with garlic, brush it with extra virgin olive oil, grill, and place the slices on a platter along with all the fixings.
Even easier, brush the bread with garlic olive oil! You can buy it, or infuse your own in advance by dropping halved garlic cloves into a cup of olive oil (or however much you think you’ll need). Any leftover oil can go right into a vinaigrette.
Bruschetta originated in the Tuscany region of Italy, where it is commonly served as a snack or appetizer. It may have been the original garlic bread.
Plus, we have our own invention dessert bruschetta, below.
BRUSCHETTA VS. CROSTINI: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
There are two factors:
You can use bread of a different diameter; but if it isn’t grilled, it isn’t bruschetta.
Here’s how to remember the difference:
RECIPE: DIY BRUSCHETTA BAR
The simplest bruschetta topping is salt and pepper (i.e., seasoned garlic bread), but that’s for a bread basket.
Almost any cheese, fruit, meat, spread or vegetable can be a topping. Toppings can be cooked, marinated, pickled, raw or smoked.
For a DIY bar, offer at least three different toppings. We like everything, so tend to go overboard: Our toppings look like a buffet. Regarding bread, we prefer a crusty sourdough or rustic loaf.
We also like eggplant caponata, pesto and sautéed mushrooms, but tend to use them more in cooler weather.
 Who needs a burger? We’re heading for the bruschetta bar (photo courtesy What’s Gaby Cooking). Buy bread that has a pretty solid crumb (photo courtesy The Stone Soup).  This loaf is beautiful, but not for holding toppings (photo courtesy Bake Street).  A bruschetta bar from Countryside Cravings.  Dessert bruschetta, here with goat cheese (the recipe from Emily Bites). We use mascarpone.
1. SET out the toppings and teaspoons for serving. We use ramekins; you can use any bowls you have.
2. SLICE the bread from 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. Rub each side with cut garlic clove and brush each side with olive oil. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Grill to your desired toastiness.
Most people won’t have seen dessert bruschetta. We don’t know if we invented it, but our sweet tooth gave us the idea years ago.
Start with a loaf of bread with dried fruit, such as cherries or raisins. For toppings:
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