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The Food: Bruscetta (Grilled Bread)

Bruscetta comes from the Italian verb brusciari which means to burn.  They call it this because the bread is toasted or grilled, but this is the basis.  Here in the USA, we know it basically as Italian salsa on Italian bread.  True bruscetta is made very simply by grilling day old Italian bread (panelle is best) and drizzling with the best extra virgin olive oil you can find.  That and a touch of Sicilian sea salt to bring out the true flavor, this is real bruscetta, the "flavored dipping olive oil" in some restaurants where they put some olive oil in a dish and you dip your bread is an American thing, I like it, don't get me wrong, but its not authentic Italian.  

The most common bruscetta we know here in the US, you would serve this "salsa" with fresh italian bread and/or on toasted garlic bread.  The recipe varies a great deal, some say use fresh French bread, other say it toasts better after a day or two.  In any case, slice the bread legnthwise, then quarter it wide so you end up with 8 halves of bread ready for toasting.  

INGREDIENTS
1 Clove Garlic Chopped Fine
3 Scallion Strands (Green Onion) Sliced Fine
1/4 White Onion Diced
Oregano to taste
4 Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped fine
2 Plum or regular Tomatoes

After the bread is toasted until it is brown, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and top with the finely chopped garlic, diced scallion, diced plum tomatoes and basil mixture that has been sitting in olive oil -- enjoy!

Variation:
4 Roma tomatoes; seeded and chopped
1 small white onion; chopped (sweet is better)
2 cloves of garlic; chopped
Finely chopped basil
A little extra virgin olive oil to damped the mixture (if you don't like chunks of garlic in it, use garlic-infused olive oil)

The ratio of tomatoes - onions - olives was about 1 - 2/3 - 1/3. Start out with the tomatoes and chop about 2/3 that amount of onions and about 1/3 that amount of olives (eh, once an Engineer always an Engineer). Then mix.

Put on some toasted Italian bread and then sprinkle a little coarsely grated parmesan, romano or asiago cheese (I used a combination of all three).


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