In celebration of my love for bruschetta, I give you four different ways to enjoy the traditional Italian antipasto.
So, it’s a Saturday afternoon, and I’m enjoying my homemade bruschetta with Christian as we celebrate our third year together. Meanwhile, all of Tampa is guzzling booze downtown at the annual (101st, to be exact) Gasparilla parade. I have lived in Tampa for 16 years, and have never experienced Gasparilla.
Every time I tell people that, they gasp with disbelief. “Are you serious?” they question. I can explain… Um… I just don’t really care about it. That’s all. I’ve just never been the type to enjoy something like that. Maybe I’ll go one day and form a different opinion, but for now, I just have no desire.
I have, however, run a Gasparilla race. Last year I ran the Gasparilla 8k, and this year, I was signed up for the half marathon. That’s another story…
In three weeks I am technically supposed to be running 13.1 miles down Bayshore Boulevard, but my foot had other plans. After a couple months of pain, I finally had an MRI done. And… the results showed… drum roll…
Oh, in addition to a sh*t ton of blood work, there were no signs of arthritis, the MRI was clean minus a bit of inflammation, yet I still have pain. At this point it’s a matter of purchasing some new [better] and more stable shoes to work in conjunction with my inserts. I still get a little depressed thinking about the work I put in before my pain, and how I could have been crossing a finish line feeling that incredible feeling in February. Guess I’ll just have to sign up for another one!
Back to the bruschetta.
If you’re new to TBB you may not know this, but I am a huge lover of Italian flavors, culture, and cooking. And since one of my favorite antipasto is bruschetta, I thought I would play around with it a little. Although I am in love with the original chopped tomato version, it’s always fun to experiment, right?
No recipe here, just a combination of ingredients with however much of each you prefer. This is what you’ll need:
- Buffalo mozzarella
- Ricotta cheese
- Mascarpone cheese
- Vine ripe tomatoes
- Fresh basil
- Dried figs
- Pitted dates
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic glaze
- Pumpkin seeds
- Italian loaf
To toast the bread, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the loaf into pieces, and place on top of a baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and place in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until crispy.
Let’s dive into the combinations.
The Caprese Bruschetta
Slices of buffalo mozzarella topped with sliced vine ripe tomatoes, fresh basil, salt, pepper, and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a balsamic glaze.
The Fig & Pig Bruschetta
Smeared mascarpone cheese topped with 2 slices of prosciutto and sliced dried figs.
The Pumpkin Patch Bruschetta
Ricotta cheese spread atop toasted Italian bread topped with a sprinkle of roasted pumpkin seeds and sweet, sliced dates.
The Remix Bruschetta
This version is a bit of a play on the traditional. Chopped tomato mixed with 1/2 clove of garlic (minced), sprinkled with salt and pepper and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, placed atop prosciutto over a crunchy slice of Italian bread.
Join the conversation:
What’s your favorite Italian dish?
What is your go-to appetizer when you’re having a dinner party?
If you liked this recipe, don’t forget to pin it for later!