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  • Sheena Philipose

Bruschetta 3 Ways

Updated: Dec 29, 2020


Bruschetta is a fresh, delicious Italian antipasti/appetizer dish consisting of grilled bread slices drizzled with olive oil and usually topped with tomatoes and basil. Other variations include vegetables, beans, cured meat, cheese, anything that you like, and it comes together in a few minutes, which is what makes it one of my favorite appetizers. And it can make for a great open sandwich too. I like to make these when I have guests over as it can all be made ahead of time and with little effort, be put together when the guests arrive.



Veg Bruschetta Recipe 3 Ways
Tomato, mushroom and nectarine bruschetta


Bread


The right kind of bread makes a world of difference. Most restaurants use baguettes or Italian loaves, but you can use any kind of crusty bread that’s sturdy enough to stand up to the toppings. I make most of our bread at home from scratch and for this recipe, I used my artisan-style bread, which can be made the day before. It's rustic, flavourful, and pairs well with freshly ripened tomatoes and a drizzle of aged balsamic. After all, the toppings are the star of this dish. I would also recommend grilling as opposed to toasting the bread, as it allows it to absorb the toppings better.


Veg Bruschetta 3 Ways Homemade Recipe
Bread I made for bruschetta

Cream cheese spread


A traditional Veg Bruschetta Recipe 3 Ways doesn't use any cheese, but I have a fond memory of having a mushroom bruschetta with goat cheese at a restaurant and I just loved it. Goat cheese isn't for everyone so I like to play it safe, especially when inviting guests. This recipe includes a cream cheese spread mixed with some garlic, herbs, and lemon which is a lovely addition if you choose to include it.


a classic but yummy tomato bruschetta
Tomato Bruschetta

Toppings


For this recipe, I made 3 different toppings:

  1. Tomatoes with garlic, parsley, basil, and balsamic vinegar. This one is my personal favourite and the most traditional variation.

  2. Sliced mushrooms sautéed with garlic, onions, chili flakes, and parsley. Even people who don't like mushrooms love this version.

  3. Grilled nectarine slices with garlic and thyme. The sweetness from the grilled nectarines complements the cheese and herbs very well.

Since this recipe doesn't use too many spices, the freshness of the produce makes all the difference- make sure that you get good quality, ripe ingredients.


ingredients to make  bruschetta toppings
Ingredients needed




Bruschetta 3 Ways



bruschetta made  3 ways
Tomato, mushroom and nectarine bruschetta


Ingredients


Bread:

  • Crusty, artisan-style bread: 1 loaf store-bought, or make your own bread. Otherwise, use a French baguette or ciabatta loaf.


Cream cheese spread:

  • Philadelphia cream cheese: 1 tub, or 180g

  • Garlic: 1 pod, minced

  • Parsley: 1 Tsp

  • A dash of lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all the above together and taste.



For the tomato bruschetta:

  • Tomatoes: 4 ripe plum tomatoes or a box of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters

  • Garlic: 2 pods, minced

  • Sugar: 1/4 Tsp

  • Olive oil: 1 Tsp

  • Balsamic vinegar: 2 Tsp

  • Parsley: 1 Tbsp, chopped

  • Basil leaves: 2-3

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Chop all ingredients finely and mix together. I like to do this a little ahead of time to give it time for the flavours to sit together. If making ahead of time, pop it in the fridge and spoon onto the grilled bread before serving.



For the mushroom bruschetta:

  • Mushrooms: 1 box button mushrooms, or a mix of mushrooms

  • Red onion: 1 medium-sized, chopped fine

  • Garlic: 2 pods, minced

  • Parsley: 1 Tbsp, chopped

  • Chilli flakes: 1 Tsp

  • Olive oil/butter: 1 Tsp

  • Salt and pepper to taste


Bring a frying pan to heat and add the olive oil, chili flakes, and garlic. Sauté for 5 seconds, then add the onion and fry until it becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook until wilted, about 5-8 minutes and stir in the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste. Again, this can be prepared ahead of time.



For the nectarine bruschetta:

  • Nectarines: 2-3 ripe, sliced

  • Garlic: 2 pods, smashed and roughly chopped

  • Thyme: 2-3 sprigs

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Place a grill pan on the heat and when it heats up, brush it with olive oil or butter. Add the roughly chopped garlic. Line the nectarine slices on the pan, add the sprigs of thyme, and grill the nectarines for about a minute on each side before removing from the heat.


To assemble the bruschetta:


  1. Slice the bread into 1/2 inch thick slices and grill them on a hot pan/grill with some olive oil brushed on. Alternatively, they can be toasted in a hot oven.

  2. Spread the cream cheese spread (if using) on top of the grilled bread slices and spoon the preferred toppings on the bread.

  3. Cut into smaller bite-size pieces if serving as appetizers or leave them whole, like open-faced sandwiches.

  4. Drizzle with some virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar and enjoy!


Bruschetta served as bite-size appetizers





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