The origins of bruschetta are ancient, dating back probably to Roman times if not before and was either a way to revitalise stale bread or in it’s most basic form, bread, fire toasted with olive oil, a method to test the quality of olive oil. In London it, along with sun-dried tomatoes became super fashionable in the late 1980’s and early 90’s soon after the River Cafe (a famous Italian restaurant in London) shot to fame.
There is a danger therefore that like the prawn cocktail and black forest Gateaux of the 70’s bruschetta might get relegated to the history books until someone brings it back in retro fashion or deconstructed (or possibly reconstructed if deconstruction also passes in to the history books as it deserves!)
So therefor save the bruschetta and grace your dinner and party tables this year with this tasty and quick appetiser / canape!
Serves: 4 as a starter or 24 canape
5 a day: 1 per 6 canape
Time: Half an hour
- 250g baby plum tomatoes
- 300g sourdough bread or half ciabatta or a similar firm bread
- 1 clove garlic
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 15g basil
Finely chop the tomatoes, season with a little salt and pepper and refrigerate until required.
About half an hour before service heat the oven to 100 C
Cut the bread in to pieces that can be consumed in one or two bites, and just under 1 cm thick. Cutting on the diagonal will look more attractive. Rub one side with the clove of garlic.
Heat a griddle pan on to a high heat and char a handful of the bread pieces on both sides. Drizzle with a little olive oil and place in the oven to keep warm whilst you cook the remainder in batches.
Once finished, turn off the griddle and remove the bread from the oven. Top with tomatoes and finely chop some basil which you sprinkle over just before service.