Bruschetta has been made in Italy for many hundreds of years. It may surprise some people to know what may qualify as bruschetta. Although most Italian-American restaurants tend to use almost identical recipes that include tomatoes, garlic, cheese and onions the earliest bruschetta recipes pre-date the introduction of tomatoes to Italy.
So what exactly is bruschetta? Quite simply, bruschetta has traditionally been toasted Italian bread topped with good olive oil and rubbed with fresh garlic. That is really all you need to make authentic bruschetta. Sounds more like garlic bread, you say? Well, that's because it really is. Any additions made to the bread do not alter its status as bruschetta, that's why we end up with all the bruschettas loaded with lots of ingredients. My favorite bruschetta is topped with garlic scape pesto. I do skip the traditional rubbing of the garlic clove, since there is already a strong garlic flavor in the pesto.
Here is my recipe for homemade garlic scape pesto followed by an easy way to make perfect bruschetta in your toaster oven.
15 garlic scapes (the long stem that grows on top of a garlic plant; it can be found at some specialty stores or grown in your garden)
1/4 cup of roasted and salted pistachios
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of pumpkin seed oil (if you don't have this, you may substitute more extra virgin olive oil)
1/4 cup of freshly grated romano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Cut the garlic scapes into 2 inch sections. Put into the work bowl of your favorite food processor and process till almost smooth. Add the roasted pistachios and repeat. Add the balsamic vinegar and pulse to combine. With the food processor running, add the olive oil and pumpkin seed oil slowly. Add the romano cheese, sea salt and pepper, pulse until well combined.
How To Make Perfect Bruschetta Every Time
Heat your toaster oven to 450 degrees F. The toaster oven really does make the best bruschetta; the results are not quite the same with either an oven or a toaster.
Slice a good loaf of Italian bread into 3/4 inch slices. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil on each side of each slice, you want about two teaspoons of olive oil for each side of bread.
Put the bread directly on the top shelf of your toaster oven (do not put them on a baking sheet.) Turn the slices over after four minutes; bake the other side for three minutes. Remove from the toaster oven.
If you are making a simple, traditional bruschetta, you will want to immediately rub each side with a fresh garlic clove split in half. Be careful, the bread is hot and this can be tricky. Otherwise, top it with the garlic scape pesto and serve immediately.