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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Bread, Crackers, Muffins, Sandwiches

TIP OF THE DAY: Try A New Sandwich For National Sandwich Month

While the Earl of Sandwich is credited with “inventing” the sandwich in 1762, he actually only introduced the concept to western Europe.

The principle of bread and a filling likely dates back to around 9000 B.C.E., when man first harvested grain and created unleavened flatbreads. Flatbread rolled with a filling became common to early cultures worldwide.

The first recorded sandwich in history was made by Rabbi Hillel (Hillel the Elder), who lived in Jerusalem in the first century B.C.E., at the time of King Herod.

At a seder, Hillel observed the Passover ritual of eating bitter herbs or maror (grated horseradish) on matzoh. Inspired, he placed another Passover food, charoset—a sweet paste of fruits and nuts seasoned with cinnamon—on a slice of matzoh alongside the maror, and topped it with a second slice of matzoh. The practice, continued today, is known as the Hillel sandwich.

Take a bite of the history of the sandwich.

 

A shrimp po’ boy sandwich. Photo by Jason Perlow | Wikimedia.

 

August is National Sandwich Month, so honor the sandwich by trying something new. Beyond the BLT, grilled cheese and tuna on whole wheat is a world of super sandwiches.

  • Consider bánh mì (pronounced bon-mee), a fusion of French and Vietnamese cuisines created during the French colonization of Indochina. It combines French ingredients such as baguettes, pâté and mayonnaise with native Vietnamese ingredients such as coriander, hot peppers, fish sauce, pickled daikon and carrots. If there’s a Vietnamese community in your area, head there; or make this bánh mì recipe.
  • Trade the everyday ham and cheese for a Cuban sandwich: ham, roasted pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard on lightly buttered Cuban (or French or Italian) loaf. The ingredients are toasted on a plancha, a sandwich press similar to a panini press but without the ridges.
  • Elvis fan? Elvis’ favorite sandwich was a fried peanut butter sandwich with sliced bananas and bacon.
  • Fried seafood lover? The po’ boy, or poor boy sandwich, is a Louisiana classic, a submarine-style sandwich loaded with fried seafood—oysters, crawfish, shrimp, soft-shell crab or catfish. Dress your Po’ Boy with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions and mayo.
  •  
    STILL LOOKING FOR THE RIGHT CELEBRATORY SANDWICH?

    Check out the different sandwich types in our Sandwich Glossary. Or invent your own sandwich. What better way to celebrate?
     

    SEE ALL THE FOOD HOLIDAYS!

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: New Delights From Garden Lites

    We’re big fans of the Garden Lites Line, both the veggie muffins and the vegetable soufflés.

    Garden Lites Veggie Muffins

    The line, previously represented by delicious Carrot Berry and Chocolate Zucchini muffins, has been joined by Veggie Blueberry Oat and Banana Chocolate Chip. As we write this, we’re enjoying the two new flavors with a cup of tea.

    The all natural Veggie Muffins are made of 1/3 fresh vegetables. Each muffin is shrink-wrapped for easy portability. Just let the frozen muffins defrost naturally or heat them in the microwave for 30 seconds: You’ll have an extremely moist treat that’s right-sized (not super-sized) at 120 calories per muffin (3 Weight Watchers points), with 5g fiber.

    The recipes contain eggs but are dairy free, gluten free, nut free and soy free. The muffins are certified kosher (parve) by Star-K.

     

    Big chunks of chocolate 5g protein? What could be better? Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Our favorite new flavor. Photo by Elvira
    Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    Garden Lites Veggie Soufflés

    We simply love these delightful soufflés as healthful snacks. The original nine flavors have been augmented with two more: Loaded Potato Soufflé, a potato, broccoli and chive soufflé topped with cheddar cheese sauce; and Veggie Chili and Cornbread Melt, a delicious cornbread base topped with vegetable chili and cheddar cheese sauce.

    These new additions led us to the blinding revelation of the obvious: That we could add a bit of cheese sauce or grated parmesan to any of the soufflé flavors. In fact, a sprinkle of our own grated parmesan (not from a can, please) added much more flavor than the cheddar sauce.

    It gave the Loaded Potato some needed extra seasoning. But the Veggie Chili & Cornbread Melt is a winner: a great combination of flavors and textures that transported us to the Southwest.

     

    Both new varieties have 200 calories, two servings of vegetables and 5 Weight Watchers points. Loaded Potato has 11g protein, Veggie Chili has 9 g protein. The soufflés are certified kosher (dairy) by Star-D.

    The products are available at select Costco locations and other retailers. Check the store locator for the store nearest you.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Gazpacho Sandwich

    A “gazpacho sandwich.” Photo © Fruttadi |
    Avocados From Mexico.

     

    Unless you’re a vegetarian, a “salad sandwich”—dressed salad on toast—might not sound as appealing as other options.

    But call it a “gazpacho sandwich,” and ears perk up.

    So today’s tip is: Create a refreshing summer sandwich or snack by chopping up your favorite salad vegetables, tossing with vinaigrette to moisten, and serving on crunchy toast or grilled bread. Call it a gazpacho sandwich.

    We went through our vegetable bin and pulled out:

  • Avocado
  • Arugula
  • Basil leaves
  • Bell pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Grape tomatoes
  •  
    We took two slices of rustic bread from the freezer, grilled them and added the thinnest slick of wasabi mayonnaise (The Ojai Cook’s Green Dragon Lemonaise, one of our favorite spreads).

    If you serve the sandwich open-face, you can call it gazpacho crostini.

    GAZPACHO RECIPES

    How about a “gazpacho sandwich” with a gazpacho chaser?

    Gazpacho is a cold raw vegetable soup that originated in Andalusia, the southernmost region of Spain. There are many variations based on local ingredients and preferences. Over the centuries, fruits were added to the vegetables. (Chilled fruit soup without vegetables is simply “fruit soup.”)

  • Avocado Gazpacho (recipe)
  • Gazpacho Verde (recipe)
  • Mango Gazpacho With Fromage Blanc Sorbet (recipe)
  • Melon Gazpacho (recipe)
  • White Gazpacho (recipe)
  •   

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Panzanella, Summer Bread Salad

    Panzanella, Tuscan bread salad. Photo by
    Jerry Keith | Wikimedia.

     

    Bread salad, like French toast and croutons, is one of those delicious recipes invented by necessity: Poor people needed to get another meal from leftover bread that had gone stale.

    Panzanella is a Tuscan-style bread salad made with a loaf of day-old (or older) Italian bread, cubed into large croutons and soaked in vinaigrette to soften it. Chopped salad vegetables are added. The translation we have found for “panzanella” is “bread in a swamp,” the swamp being the water or vinaigrette in which it was soaked.

    While today’s recipes are rich in ingredients, the original preparers foraged to pull together vegetables from the garden—cucumber, onion and tomato—and possibly purslane, a salad green that grows wild. Early recipes were heavy on the onions, the cheapest ingredient to pair with the bread. When there wasn’t enough oil to spare, the bread was moistened in water.

    Today, this peasant dish is a popular first course in Italy. It doesn’t appear often on menus of U.S.-based Italian restaurants. That’s too bad, because it’s a dish worth knowing. So today’s tip is: Make a bread salad! It‘s a refreshing summer dish that takes just minutes to whip up.

     

    As long as you have vinaigrette-soaked bread, you can create the salad from anything. It‘s a great way to use up any leftovers—including beans, cheese, fish, meat and rice—and aging produce.

    RECIPE: TUSCAN BREAD SALAD (PANZANELLA)

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 cup or more vinaigrette, 3:1 proportion of olive oil to vinegar, divided
  • 1 pound loaf rustic Italian bread*, ideally 2 days old, sliced into large, square croutons
  • 6 large basil leaves (more to taste), chiffonade (shredded)
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 1 small sweet onion (e.g. Vidalia) or red onion, sliced, rings separated
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 3 or more tablespoons good olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Minced parsley for garnish
  •  
    Optional Ingredients

  • “The kitchen sink”: anchovies, bell peppers, capers, celery, carrots, hard cooked eggs, lettuce, mozzarella, olives, tuna, zucchini, whatever you have
  • Seasonings: garlic, lemon juice, mint, wine
  •  
    *Be sure to use a loaf that has a firm crust and dense crumb, with enough body to be be soaked in the vinaigrette without falling apart. Too many American-style “Italian” breads are soft and airy.

     

    Preparation

    1. MAKE vinaigrette and toss bread in half of it, allowing it to soak for 20 minutes or longer (this step can be done hours in advance). Continue to toss as necessary to fully moisten the bread.

    2. PREPARE the salad. Toss with the remaining vinaigrette, seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.

    3. MIX in the bread and serve.

    WHY NOT JUST MAKE CROUTONS OR CROSTINI?

    Croutons or crostini required a fire. In the heat of the summer, panzanella requires no cooking.

     

    Try grilled “panzanella crostini” as an appetizer. Photo courtesy Nestle.

     

    PANZANELLA CROSTINI: A DECONSTRUCTED TUSCAN BREAD SALAD

    If you’re using a grill to cook other food, you can turn the panzanella recipe into an appetizer of crostini of salad-topped grilled bread.

    Ingredients

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Peeled garlic clove, halved
  • Bread, sliced into crostini-size pieces
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnish: fresh basil, chiffonade
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SOAK garlic clove in oil for 30 minutes or longer. Then make vinaigrette: Whisk together oil, vinegar and garlic, with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

    2. HEAT grill. Brush bread on each side with oil, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill for 30 seconds on each side or until nicely browned. Set aside and cool to room temperature.

    3. TOSS salad ingredients of choice with just enough vinaigrette to moisten. Top crostini with salad, garnish with basil and serve.

      

    Comments

    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Blueberry Muffin Day

    Homemade blueberry muffins. Photo © Klikk
    | Fotolia.

     

    July 11th is National Blueberry Muffin Day. If you’ve never made blueberry muffins from scratch, today‘s thee day. Use seasonal fresh blueberries. Most commercial blueberry muffins use frozen blueberries, which can get watery. There‘s nothing like the real deal.

    The creator of this recipe is unknown, but it appeared in early versions of the Fanny Farmer Cookbook. The name evokes Twin Mountain, New Hampshire, a pair of mountain peaks called North Twin and South Twin. The recipe is not in the current edition, but you can purchase a reprint of the Fannie Farmer 1896 Cook Book.

    RECIPE: TWIN MOUNTAINS BLUEBERRY
    MUFFINS

    Ingredients

  • 2 cups pastry flour*
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup blueberries
  •  
    *You can substitute 1-7/8 cups of all-purpose flour, but pastry flour creates more tender muffins.

    Preparation

    1.PREHEAT oven to 400°F. COMBINE 1-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. In a second bowl combine eggs, milk and butter. In a third bowl, sprinkle 1/2 cup flour over the blueberries.

    2. POUR the egg mixture over the flour mixture. Stir only enough to dampen the flour; the batter should not be smooth. Gently stir in blueberries.

    3. SPOON into buttered muffin tins. The batter should fill the each muffin cup two-thirds high. Bake for 15 minutes.

    MUFFIN VS. CAKE

    Muffins are often referred to as “small cake-like breads” and quick breads, but this explanation needs to be rethought. As recipes have evolved over time, the sugar and butter content of many muffins put them into the cake category—more precisely, the cupcake category. Many of them can pass as un-iced cupcakes.

    That’s why you can serve them for dessert. Cut the muffin in half, toast it lightly if you wish, and top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or mascarpone.
     
    See all of the July food holidays.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Wheat Thins Lime, Limited Edition

    Limited-edition Lime Wheat Thins. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     

    “Taste the bold lime flavor,” beckons the entire back side of the new, limited edition Wheat Thins.

    Fans of Wheat Thins, those crunchy little cracker squares from Nabisco, might note that lime and salt are also flavors of that popular drink, the Margarita. In fact, we received two boxes of Wheat Thins from the manufacturer, along with two Margarita glasses (we enjoyed them with a beer, instead).

    Wheat Thins are one of the few foods we enjoyed in grade school that are still on our grocery list. We like them instead of chips with a beer, with soups and salads (use them instead of croutons), and as a better-for-you snack, with or without a nonfat yogurt dip.

    Wheat Thins are made with whole grain flour. Each serving of 14 crackers (30g) equals 20g of whole grains. That really helps toward the 48g RDA recommended by the USDA (more about whole grains).

    Nutritionists recommend that we consume at least 3 servings of whole grains daily. It’s fun when Wheat Thins is one of those servings.

     

      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: King’s Hawaiian Sweet Breads & Rolls

    Bet you can‘t eat just one of King’s Hawaiian
    sweet dinner rolls. Photo by Elvira Kalviste |
    THE NIBBLE.

     

    Most Americans are not familiar with Portuguese sweet bread. But if the Taira family of Hawaii has its way, every home will be feasting on their version of it: King’s Hawaiian Original Sweet Bread.

    A rave in Hawaii, where people line up around the block to purchase it and tourists send gift boxes of the bread back to the mainland, King’s Hawaiian is now produced on both coasts of the Continental U.S., ready to reach a grocer near you.

    When you see it, grab it: the dinner rolls, hamburger rolls, hot dog rolls, sandwich rolls and the round loaves that are just perfect to slice into French toast or scoop out to turn into a bread bowl for dips.

    Sweet and buttery, a fluffier cousin of brioche, we’re hooked.

    Read the full review.

    CHECK OUT THE MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF BREADS IN OUR BREAD GLOSSARY.

     

    FIND MORE OF OUR FAVORITE BREADS & BREAD PRODUCTS IN OUR GOURMET BREADS SECTION.

      

    Comments

    RECIPES: Gourmet Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    April is National Grilled Cheese Month, a sandwich we love so much we could eat a different recipe every day.

    We’re beginning our “grilled cheese coverage” with two creative recipes from Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, an artisan creamery.

    The first gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches is called the French Connection, because it uses the creamery’s Lille cheese, patterned on the French cheese Coulommiers a member of the Brie family. The difference between the two is that Coulommiers is smaller with a thicker rind and a nuttier paste than Brie. But you can use any of these cheeses to make this delicious sandwich. The addition of fresh basil is simply delightful.

    RECIPE: BRIE, STRAWBERRIES & BALSAMIC
    GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

    Ingredients For 2 Sandwiches

  • 4 slices of French bread (we cut long slices from a
    baguette)
  •  

    This sandwich combines creamy, sweet, tart and fresh and is splendid. Photo courtesy Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company.

  • 4 ounces Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company Lillé or Brie-style cheese, sliced
  • 10 strawberries, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon granulated sugar
  •  
    Preparation

    1. CLEAN strawberries 30 minutes before making sandwich. Wash, pat dry, hull and quarter the strawberries. Combine them with the balsamic vinegar and sugar in a bowl and gently toss. Let the ingredients sit at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer. When ready to make sandwich…

    2. BUTTER sliced bread. Place bottom bread slices butter-side-down and layer the cheese and basil leaves. Top with the strawberry mixture and the top slices of bread.

    3. TRANSFER to a hot skillet and cook until cheese is melted and bread is nicely browned. Serve immediately.

     

    Add Brussels sprouts to your grilled cheese—
    really! Photo courtesy Vermont Farmstead
    Cheese Company.

     

    And now for something completely different: grilled cheese with Brussels sprouts. This creative combination rocks! TIP: Never overcook Brussels sprouts or any of the cruciferous vegetables family (broccoli, cabbage, etc.): It breaks down chemical compounds that create the infamous unpleasant sulfuric aroma and flavor.

    This recipe was created with Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company’s BrickHaus Tilsit. Tilsit or Tilsiter cheese is a versatile, semi-hard cheese originally produced by Danish settlers in Prussia. It is now commonly produced in Switzerland. You can substitute Havarti or Monterey Jack cheese.

    TURKEY, TILSIT & BRUSSELS SPROUTS GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICH

    Ingredients For 2 Sandwiches

  • 6 ounces Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company BrickHaus Tilsit?
  • 6 Brussels sprouts, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces turkey breast, sliced
  • 4 slices of marbled pumpernickel rye bread
  • Lemon aïoli (recipe below)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  •  
    Ingredients For Lemon Aïoli

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • ?1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Pinch of salt and pepper
  •  
    Preparation
     
    1. BLEND aïoli ingredients in bowl and set aside.

    2. ADD 1 tablespoon butter to a heated skillet; once melted, add the Brussels sprouts and 2 cloves of garlic. Stir while cooking until Brussels sprouts are slightly wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

    3. TRANSFER cooked Brussels sprouts to a bowl and set aside.

    4. WIPE out the skillet. ??Butter one side of each slice of bread and place butter-side-down. To construct, lay sliced bread butter-side-down and layer with cheese, turkey and cooked sprouts.

    5. SPREAD the top slices with aïoli and close the sandwiches. Place butter-side-up on the bottom half of the sandwich.

    6. CAREFULLY place sandwiches in skillet and grill over medium-high heat until cheese is melted and bread is nicely browned. Serve immediately.
     
    Stay tuned for more gourmet grilled cheese!
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Gourmet Meatball Sub

    Nice enough, but you can make a meatball
    sub that soars to new heights. Photo
    courtesy Earl of Sandwich.

     

    As popular as meatball submarine sandwiches are, they’re pretty ho-hum. Even if you make the tastiest meatballs and marinara sauce, there’s still room for improvement.

    Today‘s tip: Play around with different ingredients until you create your meatball sub masterpiece. You can turn the search into a build-your-own party buffet for the Final Four, Memorial Day, Father’s Day or just because it’s party time.

    Your first decision: what to put in the meatballs (a basic meatball recipe is below). Every ingredient counts, as does the quality of the meat and cheese.

  • Meat: beef, chicken, pork, pork-beef blend, turkey or vegetarian.
  • Meatball filling: bread crumbs or rice, onion, garlic, heat (crushed red pepper flakes, minced jalapeno), herbs (chopped parsley and/or cilantro, rosemary, thyme).
  • Cheese: Argentine Sardo, grated Asiago, cotija, grana padano, Parmesan/Parmigiano Reggiano*, Pecorino Romano, Sbrinz or other hard cheese.
  •  

    Next decision: bread and toppings. Beyond the supermarket-variety “hero rolls,” consider:

  • Bread: baguette, garlic bread made on long rolls, semolina rolls…or think outside the elongated shape and pick up any good rolls offered by local bakers.
  •  
    Next, what to layer atop the meatballs:

  • Cheese: crumbled goat cheese, shredded Gruyère or mozzarella (room temperature or melted under the broiler), grated Parmesan/Parmigiano Reggiano, sliced Provolone or Fontina.
  • Greens: arugula, shredded lettuce.
  • Heat: cracked red pepper, pickled or sliced fresh jalapeños (in addition to what you may have put into the meatball mix).
  • Herbs: chopped fresh basil, cilantro, parsley; dried oregano.†
  • Sauce: marinara, mushroom gravy, Parmesan cream sauce (recipe below), pesto, spicy Bolognese.
  • Garnishes: bacon strips, beans, caramelized onions, giardiniera, fried egg, sliced gherkins or other pickles, mashed potatoes, onion rings, sliced olives, sliced tomatoes.
  •  
    *The difference: The product called Parmigiano Reggiano can only be made from local milk in the Emilia Romagna region of Italy, where it is carefully monitored for quality by a supervising consortium. The related product made in the U.S. is called Parmesan. More about Parmigiano Reggiano.

    †Oregano is the exception to the rule: It tastes as good fresh or dried.

     

    You can also elect to “go global” with creations like these (and others that spring from your mind):

  • Greek Meatball Sub: dilled lamb meatballs with crumbled feta and yogurt sauce.
  • Indian Meatball Sub: curried lamb meatballs (add almonds and raisins), grated paneer cheese and raita sauce.
  • Hawaiian Meatball Sub: pork meatballs, sliced ham, pineapple slices, sweet gherkins.
  •  
    EASY MEATBALL TEMPLATE

    Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 pounds ground meat or poultry
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs or panko
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  •  

    A glamorous and flavorful chicken meatball sub. Photo by Jill Chen | IST.

  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 450°F.

    2. PLACE ground meat in a large mixing bowl and with your knuckles or a large wooden spoon, punch a well into the center of meat. Fill the well with all of the other ingredients. Mix all ingredients until well combined.

    3. DIVIDE mix into 4 parts, and divide each part into 4 meatballs. Place on a nonstick or parchment-lined baking sheet and roast for 12 minutes. Cut one meatball open to check doneness.
     

    EASY PARMESAN SAUCE RECIPE

    Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/2 cup quality grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 dash ground nutmeg
  • 1 dash pepper or more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MICROWAVE cream cheese, milk and cheese on medium (50%) for 6-8 minutes or until sauce is smooth. Stir every 2 minutes.

    3. BLEND in seasonings. Serve.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Bruschetta Vs. Crostini

    Bruschetta and crostini are popular hors d’oeuvres that are easy to make. They also can be served as a first course or a light meal, with salad and/or soup.

    BRUSCHETTA VS. CROSTINI: WHAT’S THE
    DIFFERENCE?

    The answer, in brief, is the size of the slice, plus grilling versus toasting. Bruschetta (three or four inches in diameter) are cut from a baguette and grilled; crostini (about two inches in diameter) are cut from a thinner loaf and toasted.

    Bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKEH-tuh) are grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with any variety of items. The toppings can be as simple as extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, to diced tomatoes and basil, to almost any spread, vegetable, cured meat or cheese—even fruit.

    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.

     

    You can top bruschetta—grilled bread—with anything, including rosy grapefruit. Photo courtesy Sunkist Growers.

     
    The word comes from the verb bruscare in Roman dialect, which means “to roast over coals.” If you have access to a grill, grill the bread for authenticity. If not, you can toast it.

    Some American manufacturers and others in the food industry misuse the term, using it to refer to the topping only and selling jars of “bruschetta” (it should be bruschetta topping). Show your superior knowledge and don’t allow the term to be distorted: The word bruschetta refers to the grilled bread, not the topping.

    Crostini (cruh-STEE-nee) are croutons: not in the American sense of small cubes tossed into soup or salad, but thin slices of toasted bread.

    Smaller than bruschetta, the slices are typically cut from a ficelle, a thinner baguette one to two inches wide (the word is French for “string). The slices are brushed with olive oil, toasted and then topped with spreadable cheese, pâté or other ingredients. Plain crostini are served with soups and salads, like melba toast, or set out with cheese.

     

    Crostini American-style: BevCooks.com used
    a regular loaf of whole grain bread for
    appetizer- or meal-size portions. Also
    consider rye bread. Here’s the recipe.

     

    While lovely grapefruits are still in season, make this colorful and flavorful Grapefruit Bruschetta recipe from Sunkist (photo above).

    We especially like it with a Sauvignon Blanc, which often has complementary grassy/herbal or grapefruit notes. You can use any type of grapefruit, but rosy-fleshed varieties make the most beautiful presentation. Makes 8 servings.

    RED GRAPEFRUIT BRUSCHETTA

    Ingredients

  • 1 baguette, sliced (how to pick the best baguette)
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pink or red grapefruit, peeled and segmented
  • ½ cup basil, torn
  • ½ cup blue cheese (if you’re not a blue fan, substitute goat cheese)
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon red onion, tiny dice
  • Salt and pepper to taste, as desired (or add crushed red pepper for a touch of heat)
  • Optional garnish: honey
  •  

    Preparation

  • PREHEAT oven to 450°F.
  • PLACE baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Place in oven and bake 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside.
  • MIX together grapefruit and basil in a small bowl.
  • SPOON onto toasted baguette slices and top with crumbled blue cheese and an optional light honey drizzle.
  •  
    Here’s another variation of grapefruit bruschetta that cooks the grapefruit topping.

     
    MORE BRUSCHETTA RECPIES

  • Black Bean Bruschetta
  • Bruschetta With Radicchio Tapenade
  • Bruschetta With Prosciutto & Goat Cheese
  • Low-Carb Brsuchetta
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    BIGGER BRUSCHETTA

    Turn bruschetta into open-face sandwiches for lunch by using regular loaves of bread. Cut the slices in half, as the blogger BevCooks.com did in the photo above, with the most delicious-looking bruschetta we’ve seen in a while.

    You can also make “breakfast bruschetta” by placing eggs and breakfast meats atop the toast. Add a dab of garnish (diced tomatoes, fresh herbs, sliced green onions, a strip of roasted red pepper…). Does ketchup count as a garnish? Sure: This is America.

      

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