Is it “broo-SKEH-tah” for you?
Or do you order it as “broo-SHEH-tah”?
Honestly? I alternate depending on my mood! If I’m in a Giada De Laurentiis kinda mood, then I break out the “broo-SKEH-tah”. But if I’m feeling my old americanized self, well then it’s the other one. It’s funny when I’m bopping back and forth between pronunciations in one single conversation. Or annoying. :p
Okay, so however you say it, it is a divine thing indeed and well, I made two versions recently.
This one here is a topped with a white bean puree and balsamic dressed arugula with red onions.
First the recipe* for the white bean:
1 can (19 ounces) cannellini beans, strained and rinsed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
1 small garlic clove, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
1 small bunch arugula (about 2 ounces) washed, dried, and cut into 1/2 strips
You should definitely make your toppings before you tend to the bread portion.
With that, here is the process for the white bean topping:
In food processor, process 2/3 of beans, 2 T olive oil, 2 T water, lemon juice, garlic, 1/2 t salt, 1/8 t pepper, until smooth, about 10 seconds.
Add remaining beans and pulse until incorporated, but not too smooth, about five 1 second pulses. (You still want some texture to the beans.)
Whisk remaining 1 T olive oil, balsamic vinegar, 1/4 t salt, 1/8 t pepper in separate medium bowl, add onion and toss.
(I used ciabatta bread for the bruschetta.)
Cut the loaf into slices between 1/2 inch to an inch thick.
Place them on a cookie sheet.
Pop them into the broiler for about 2 minutes.
Watch your broiler! (Mine will turn bread into a charred mess in the blink of an eye.)
Take a fresh garlic clove and rub across tops of bread.
You can add a drizzle of olive oil to the slices at this point, but I don’t find it necessary as there is olive oil in both topping versions and I personally hate when my bruschetta loses its tasty crunch and becomes a sopping mess. YMMV
Once your bread is ready and your bean spread is complete, then you will toss in your arugula strips into the balsamic/onion mixture.
To assemble, simply take your garlic rubbed toasted bread, spread some white bean mix on it, then top with some of the arugula/onion mixture. Eat and enjoy! It is SO GOOD.
Arugula and white bean not your thing?
How about traditional?
This one is even easier. You use the same process for toasting the bread and make a simple tomato and basil topping. I pretty much eyeball everything. I used: roma tomatoes, vine cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, kosher salt, black pepper, bit of olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Toss everything gently, give it a quick taste and adjust if needed. Then pop in fridge while you tend to the bread. The flavors of the tomato topping intensify nicely, so it would be okay to make this a few hours ahead even.
Oh and don’t forget the shaved romano!
*This particular recipe comes from the July/August 2003 issue of Cook’s Illustrated