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Grilled Bruschetta Bread

Historically, bruschetta was embraced by Italians for its ability to stretch out a meager supply of food. A slice of toasted bread (the name comes from bruscare, meaning "to roast over coals") formed a satisfying meal when drizzled with olive oil and topped with whatever was at hand.

Today bruschetta (pronounced broo-SKE-ta) is worthy of being the main event. As delicious with a traditional tomato-and-herb topping as with melted chocolate and fleur de sel, the toasts practically beg for experimentation. The foolproof formula: a loaf of crusty bread and only best-quality ingredients. Find our simple recipes in the final step.

Note: For sweet bruschetta, skip the garlic and oil.

Tools and Materials

  • Crusty white boule or artisanal loaf
  • Fresh head of garlic
  • First-rate olive oil
  • Ungreased grill or grill pan

How To Grill Bruschetta Bread

1. Place thick slices on an ungreased grill or grill pan. Toast each side for 5 minutes over medium heat. (If you don't have a grill pan, broil bread until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.)

For perfect golden-brown hatch marks, maintain medium heat. High heat will create instant dark lines without toasting the bread; low heat will slow the toasting process, which can result in blackened grill marks.

2. Remove toasts from grill, and immediately rub with cut side of a head of garlic. The warmth of the bread releases the garlic's aroma.

3. On a cutting board or a baking sheet, drizzle oil generously over toasts. Sprinkle with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper. Cut slices in half if they're large.