We can thank the Italians for the now popular appetizer, bruschetta. And we can thank the ingenuity of many chefs for the myriad of variations that can now be found on this theme. The basic bruschetta is sliced, toasted Italian bread that has had good quality olive oil drizzled over it, followed by a clove of raw garlic rubbed on it. This is a very satisfying recipe in itself, especially when accompanied by a nice glass of red wine.
But this basic recipe also works as the perfect canvas for other toppings, Italian and otherwise. A traditional Italian addition is chopped tomatoes with fresh herbs, a bit of balsamic vinegar, and perhaps a small amount of chopped onion. But many other combinations can successfully top these hearty toasts. Try a few basic recipes to build your confidence, experiment with a few of the more creative variations below, and before you know it, you'll be coming up with your own favorite toppings to wow your guests.
The basic recipe from About's Italian Cuisine Guide, Kyle Phillips.
An unusual adaptation of the recipe from Busy Cooks Guide Linda Larsen.
Roasted Garlic Cheddar Bruschetta
A delicious New England twist on this Italian classic.
Gorgonzola and Caramelized Onion Bruschetta
This recipe from Busy Cooks Guide Linda Larsen can be partially prepared in advance, but you will need to leave some time for it.
Tomato and Mozzarella Bruschetta
This recipe turns a little more pungent with the addition of capers and onions.
Parmesan and Walnut Bruschetta
Don't let your guests eat too many of these if you want them to eat dinner too!
Three Toppings for Bruschetta
Hills of Rome, Pesto, and Tuscan toppings are all delicious Italian flavor combinations.
Grilled Cheese Bruschetta
Bobby Flay's recipe, that combines Monterey Jack and goat cheeses.
Bruschetta ala Mufulletta
This very piquant version is topped with a combination of olives, onions, garlic, horseradish, hot pepper, and other spices.
Portobello Mushroom Bruschetta
Recipe from The Food Network.
Bruschetta with Favas and Guanciale
Mario Batali's recipe includes pancetta, artichokes, potatoes and fava beans.
Learn tips for setting up a self-serve bruschetta bar from chef Michael Chiarello.
Sea Urchin Bruschetta
A perfect example of how well bruschetta lend themselves to adaptation. All you need to work on is finding the sea urchins for this simple dish.
Bruschetta with Eggplant and Peppers
A nice vegetarian variation.