Back in the day, when I was a chef, bruschetta was a staple on our starter menu. It was also one of the most ordered dishes – it’s surprising how many Leeds students loved this good old classic Italian starter – perhaps it was a more sophisticated take on the standard beans on toast!
Back then we only served the classic, traditional bruschetta dish. Tomatoes, basil, garlic and red onion drizzled in olive oil on crispy bread. Recently I’ve been thinking about so many ways to jazz up this dish and I had to try one.
Some of the key takeaways to make a great bruschetta are:
- Tomatoes – when you dice them, completely remove the seeds. Ideally you want the skins to be dry so dot them with a paper towel after discarding the seeds to ensure you don’t end up with a mushy bruschetta mix
- Don’t slice the garlic – crush it. Use a garlic crusher or use the flat side of a large knife at a slight angle to really ‘smoosh’ it up
- Onion – dice into really small pieces to give a smoother taste with each mouthful
Since there is no cooking time for this dish, there really is no need to view it as a dish that is time intensive and needs to be made for several people – trust me. You can knock up the ingredients in 10-15 minutes (less if you have speedy knife skills) and it will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge if you used super fresh ingredients. You just need to warm up the sliced bread and you’ve got a few days of fancy and healthy snacks.
The calorie information below includes 3 small baguette slices (30g) and still comes in at under 200 calories – you have no excuse!
Artichoke BruschettaCourse: StarterCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
A unique take on the traditional dish – this Artichoke Bruschetta gives the authentic fresh tomato, garlic, onion and basil mixture a fresh update with creamy artichoke hearts and grated parmesan
20g red onion
20g artichoke hearts, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic
around 8 fresh basil leaves
1 tsp olive oil, plus a little extra for drizzling
small baguette – cut into 3x 1cm slices on the diagonal (around 30g total)
10g grated parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Dice the tomato skins into small pieces. Finely dice the onion and chop the artichoke hearts. Mix together in a bowl with a tsp of olive oil
- Finely chop the basil leaves and crush the garlic cloves and add to the mixture. Combine everything together well
- Add the sliced bread to a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Place in the middle of the oven for around 3-5 minutes – keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
- Top the bread with the tomato mixture and a dusting of Parmesan and serve immediately.