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.