Brushcette Diverse

7 Feb

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There is a common misconception amongst most Americans that bruschetta can only be made with tomatoes, which in fact is not true in the slightest. The meaning of bruschetta in Italy is a toasted bread usually drizzled with olive oil, rubbed with garlic, and then topped with some sort of tapenade. Although bruscetta  topped with tomatoes is one of the most well-known dishes, it is only commonly made and served when tomatoes are in season, which means contrary to popular belief this is not a dish you can find year round in Italy.

Until recently I was never a huge fan of tomatoes, so having bruschetta (served one of the most popular ways, with chopped tomatoes)  didn’t hold much appeal for me. It wasn’t until I went to Italy for the first time a few years ago that I soon realized the vast variety of bruschette offered there. I remember going to one restaurant in particular which specifically had a bruschetta menu. I remember being excited and a bit overwhelmed as I examined the very extensive menu, there was bruschetta topped with pesto, sauteed zucchini, liver, even fagioli (beans) , there were so many choices.

My most recent trip to Italy allowed me to discover even more varieties of bruschette.

I tried bruschetta topped with sauteed cavolo nero, a green vegetable similar to kale.

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I even tried bruschetta topped with un pate` di cocodrilio, a crocodile pate, surprisingly good!

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Not once was I ever served bruschetta with tomatoes on top!

When I came home I was inspired by all the varieties of bruschette I had seen, I decided to get creative and try  making some different types of bruschetta, I topped one batch with sauteed mushrooms and the other with a sauteed spinach puree`.

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Both were delicious!

Saluted Mushroom Topping

Ingredients

 1 cup of mushrooms (of your choosing) finely chopped

olive oil

salt and pepper

scallions finely chopped

Method

1) Allow oil to heat over medium to high heat, add in mushrooms and saute until soft, add in salt pepper, and scallions, set aside and let cool

Spinach Pure Topping

Ingredients

15 oz of fresh spinach

olive oil

2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced

red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

a pinch of nutmeg

red pepper flakes

Method

1) In a saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat, add in garlic, once garlic becomes potent add in spinach and let wilt, add in red pepper flakes, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg, set aside and let cool

2) With a slotted spoon carefully remove spinach and garlic and place in a food processor, add a little olive oil if necessary, process until spinach turn into a creamy puree

Bruschetta

1) cut a loaf of bread in half, rub each side with a clove of garlic and drizzle olive oil over the bread, toast bread until browned, cut the bread into pieces about 4 inches in length, top with desired toppings!

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