I collapsed onto the wooden chair with a heavy sigh, my feet were fatigued. We had walked from Taormina to a quaint town perched on the cliffs above, Castelmola. Beneath a medieval church in Piazza Chiesa Madre, we discovered a small restaurant and ordered lunch. I savoured the sun’s warm rays on my neck while watching two lovers at the adjacent table. Interrupting my gaze, the waiter placed our entrée on the table, bruschetta.
I lifted the thick toast to my lips and took a bite. The bread crunched beneath my teeth. My neck lunged forward trying to catch the crumbs from falling; it is impossible to eat this dish gracefully. Pieces of tomato flesh, seeds and juice filled my mouth, enriched by the sweet floral basil leaves. It was perfectly balanced, refreshing and completely intoxicating.
Before I had visited Sicily, I thought bruschetta was overrated and nothing more than diced tomatoes on toast. But, bruschetta is so much more than that. It is edible history and if prepared correctly, it is delicious!
While preparing this simplistic meal, I find pleasure in knowing I’m bringing an ancient meal back to the table. Bruschetta is a recipe with roots dating back to the Etruscan Age. Farmers in Tuscany would prepare stale saltless bread, brush it with garlic and drizzle it with young olive oil. Other regions serve bruschetta with different combinations like marinated vegetables, prosciutto, livers and various cheeses.
The recipe I’m sharing with you today however, is the classic bruschetta recipe! 🙂 I hope you enjoy!
“Day old bread, month old oil and year old wine” – Italian Proverb
- 4 x ripe vine tomatoes, seeds removed and cut into small squares;
- 1 x shallot, thinly sliced;
- 1 x whole loaf of unsalted rustic bread;
- young virgin olive oil;
- 2 x garlic cloves;
- 1 x bunch of fresh basil;
- pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.
- To prepare the tomatoes, remove the seeds and finely cut the remaining flesh into small pieces.
- Season with salt and pepper while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
- Cut the bread into generous portions, brush generously with the olive oil and toast until golden brown.
- Once the bread is toasted, rub garlic onto the toast. Top with the fresh tomatoes, shallots and basil; drizzle additional olive oil over the bruschetta.
- Enjoy on a nice summer's day with a refreshing beverage! 🙂
- Bruschetta requires minimal ingredients or cooking time. It is for this reason, that bruschetta relies solely on the quality of the ingredients.
- Tomatoes should be ripe and succulent, the bread rustic and preferably a little stale; most importantly, the olive oil should be young, pressed virgin olive oil.
Are you interested in reading more about our time in Sicily?
Stay Beautiful! 🙂