Last Days of Summer: Mixed Bruschetta

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Yes, I know that I’ve been talking a lot about fall and how I’m ready for summer to be over. But the weather was beautiful yesterday and when I took a friend to the open market in Catania, there were still so many beautiful tomatoes and fresh herbs that it made me want to hold on to summer for just a little while longer. So, if you still have access to some tomatoes, let’s make one of my all-time favorite appetizers…Bruschetta!

I’m sure that no matter where you live, most of you have tasted bruschetta in one form or another. The original bruschetta is from central Italy and consists of nothing more than grilled bread rubbed with cut garlic and topped with olive oil, salt and pepper. But the version that seems to be most popular around the world includes diced tomatoes, garlic and any number of additional ingredients. It seems that you can put just about anything on a little toasted round of bread and it tastes wonderful!

The bruschetta that I have started making since moving to Sicily is topped with a mixture of chopped cherry tomatoes, garlic, basil, crushed red pepper, olive oil, salt and pepper and just a tiny splash of balsamic vinegar. You can use any kind of Italian or french bread as long as you slice it and either grill it or toast it under the broiler on both sides. It’s a simple appetizer that always tastes amazing.

Today for lunch I decided to experiment with a couple of new flavors in my bruschetta. I ended up making three versions: my original (bruschetta al pomodoro), a Greek-inspired version (bruschetta greca), and a Mexican-inspired version (bruschetta messicana). I loved them all so I can’t tell you which one tastes best. I guess you will have to try them yourself and see what you think!

I am not giving exact amounts of anything so here’s what I suggest: Depending on how much bread you are going to toast, cut up an amount of tomatoes that you think will be enough to mound on the bread slices. Then add the other ingredients a little at a time, tasting often, until you come up with a flavor you like. If you don’t have enough, make more :-)

I always make the topping before toasting the bread so that the flavors can mingle and a nice amount of juice can collect in the bottom of the bowl while it sits for a few minutes. When you put the topping on the bread, spoon on that extra juice so that the bread can soak it up.

Here are the ingredients for the three bruschetta toppings:

Bruschetta al Pomodoro

Cherry tomatoes, diced
Fresh garlic, minced
Fresh basil, minced
Crushed red pepper (just a pinch)
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic vinegar (just a dash)
Pinch of salt

Bruschetta Messicana

Cherry tomatoes, diced
Red onion, minced
Fresh cilantro, minced
Fresh jalapeno, minced
A squeeze of fresh lime juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of Salt

Bruschetta Greca

Cherry tomatoes, diced
Fresh garlic, minced
Black olives, sliced
Feta cheese, crumbled or diced
Fresh oregano, minced (or substitute dried)
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of Salt
Fresh Ground pepper

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27 Comments
  1. cakebaker_cakemaker

    Your bruschetta is beautiful, not like some I have had put in front of me at restaurants:):)

    1:52 am  Sep 18th, 2006
  2. joyce

    They all look good but anything with cilantro in it gets my vote, although feta can’t be far behind. I think I will have to try all three asap.

    2:35 am  Sep 18th, 2006
  3. mac

    Bruschetta Greca, no doubt. If it’s got black olives, I’m so there.

    7:39 pm  Sep 17th, 2006
  4. amanda

    mmm! i could gobble all three of them up right now! and your photos look amazing as always :-)

    10:44 am  Sep 18th, 2006
  5. Brilynn

    Your picture is very elegant and I’m sure these taste amazing. Bruschetta is definitely a favourite appetizer, how can you lose with something that looks nice, is easy to prepare, and most importantly, tastes great?

    5:04 pm  Sep 18th, 2006
  6. Kathy

    nicole, I missed the farmer’s market Saturday but I will definitely try this next weekend. The Messicana sounds like home !

    5:45 pm  Sep 18th, 2006
  7. Kathy

    Oh, question, Nicole- do you brush the bread with olive oil after toasting or just load up the topping ?

    5:46 pm  Sep 18th, 2006
  8. Corinne

    Normally i’m not a big fan of bruschetta, but this looks so good! I have to try these sometime!

    6:37 pm  Sep 18th, 2006
  9. Nicole

    Kathy: I don’t brush the bread with olive oil at all. I just load up the topping and the olive oil and tomato juices soak into the bread.

    9:06 pm  Sep 18th, 2006
  10. Connie

    even though it was 85 here today, i miss summer already.

    although, fall leaves are nice, but you can’t have squash bruschetta

    5:11 am  Sep 19th, 2006
  11. Laurie

    Oh man, those look good! I am lovin’ your blog!!

    Laurie

    2:31 pm  Sep 19th, 2006
  12. Sandy

    They all look so good! Guess I will have to try them all.

    4:39 pm  Sep 19th, 2006
  13. peabody

    Nice way to say goodbye to Summer.

    12:19 am  Sep 20th, 2006
  14. cooknkate

    yummmm…one of my most snarfable items.

    2:49 pm  Sep 20th, 2006
  15. Ivonne

    Well … if summer must go then I’d like to say goodybe with this bruschetta. Lovely!

    4:23 am  Sep 21st, 2006
  16. hatgirl

    The pictures are very appealing. Time to make dinner! But I don’t think it could be as good as the food items you have in your pictures.

    1:08 am  Sep 22nd, 2006
  17. Steph

    Hey Nicole,
    brushetta is one of my new favorites. I love it because it is so light tasting. Well, and I love tomatoes so much.
    Looks yummy!
    Steph

    1:43 am  Sep 24th, 2006
  18. Al

    I was recently intruduced to bruschetta, the tast is amazing! I will defintely try your three variations and look forward to visiting your site again. Good job!

    7:21 pm  May 16th, 2007
  19. Peter

    Your varied Bruschettas (prounounced Bruce-ketta) are all bang on…I love it!

    2:29 pm  Jun 6th, 2007
  20. bob

    wow

    9:33 pm  Aug 30th, 2007
  21. kevin

    what happened to this site … is it still active …. the last comments i see are from 2007 ….

    nicole … do you still keep up with this site?

    10:27 am  Sep 15th, 2008
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  23. SFran

    Love them all! I will be using my garlicboss to rub garlic on all these bruschetta recipes. Thanks

    4:04 pm  Jun 12th, 2009
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  25. Sarah

    Love bruschetta and make it with whatever I happen to have- feta cheese, onions, avocado, tomatoes, fresh garlic, olive oil… Your recipes sounds perfect.

    12:18 pm  Dec 24th, 2011
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  27. borisa

    This recipe look so yummy. I will definitely try to make this bruschetta entry’s before Christmas. Thank you for excellent idea.

    6:12 am  Dec 4th, 2013
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