makes 6 toasts
Bruschette means “little burnt ones”- a reference to these grilled slices of country bread that are sometimes charred around the edges. What goes on top of these slices of oil and garlic-rubbed toasts is limited only by your imagination. Any vegetable, any fish, any legume or meat can become a topping for bruschetta. The topping that follows this recipe for the toasts are four of my favorites. You can successfully prepare bruschetta on a charcoal grill, in a stovetop grill pan, or even in a very hot oven. The edges of each slice of bread should be very crisp- even a little burned in places- the centers should be toasted but not dried out. Choose a loaf of dense-textured, flavorful bread that is about five inches across for bruschette. If your loaf is much larger that that, cut the slices in half before grilling them.
- Six ½-inch-thick slices firm, country style Italian bread
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large garlic clove, peeled
Prepare a charcoal fire or heat a grill pan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Grill as many of the bread slices as will fit in a single layer, turning them only once, until they are golden brown and crispy, even slightly charred around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes total, depending on the intensity of the heat. Remove the bruschette from the grill and brush them lightly with olive oil. Rub the garlic clove lightly over one side of the bread to flavor it.
Alternatively, the bruschette can be prepared in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Arrange the bread slices in a single layer and bake until golden brown and crispy around the edges, 6 to 8 minutes. Brush with olive oil and rub with the garlic clove as described above.
Serve the bruschette as soon as possible after toasting, with the topping of your choice.