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Classic Italian Bruschetta

May 19, 2010
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My sister, Kirsten, recently spent a week with me and Nate here in DC.  Nate and I met up with Kirsten and her husband on our recent trip to Spain and before that, I hadn’t seen them in nearly a year and half, and Nate hadn’t them since their wedding in 2007.  She was one of our better house guests, since she did a ton of cooking.  Kirsten also brought us a number of Italian goodies and it was kind of like Christmas.  It was awesome. 

Here we are in Barcelona:

As we’ve gotten older, we’ve gotten more similar.  It’s a little scary.  She’s no longer putting gum in my hair, and I’m no longer pulling out her doll baby’s eye lashes (which was a complete accident, I swear).

Kirsten made a number of yummy things when she was staying with Nate and me last week.  One of these things was bruschetta.  It also wound of being a bit of a learning opportunity for me.  First of all, bruschetta is actually pronounced broo-ske-ta (which I actually discovered when I was in Italy and embarrassed myself by calling it brooshetta).  Secondly, in Italy, bruschetta is crunchy bread with tomatoes, basil, garlic and oil on top.  That is bruschetta.  If you put something besides tomatoes, basil, garlic and oil on it, it is not bruschetta.  That would probably be considered crostini, but I should check with Kirsten.

Kirsten claims that you can put the tomato topping on any crunchy bread and that it doesn’t necessary have to be toasted, which means you can also put it on stale bread.  Nate begs to differ, as he was Kirsten’s guinea pig and she gave him a piece of hard stale bread with tomatoes on it.  He said it “tasted like stale bread with yummy stuff on it,” and apparently then he licked off the topping.  The best way to make bruschetta en masse is to toast your (not too stale) bread in the oven and then spoon on the topping.  Then you have to share it.  That’s the hardest part.

Bruschetta

These are the instructions as per what Kirsten wrote, with my add-ins in parentheses and it tastes better if you let it sit a little while.  Adjust the flavors as you like.

Cherry tomatoes- halved or quartered (if they’re big, quarter them)

Garlic- minced (use more garlic than you would normally; I think we used 2 heads)

Basil- minced (about a handful)

Good olive oil- lots (you don’t want it to be swimming, but there should be a nice amount of liquid at the bottom of the bowl)

Balsamic- tiny bit

Salt

Mix the ingredients together, and spoon on crusty bread that has been toasted.  Drizzle with olive oil and top with a little more of the tomato mixture.

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