Bruschetta Appetizer Spread for Memorial Day

Crostini, bruschetta….What the heck is the difference anyway? Glad you asked. Bruschetta (pronounced broo-sket-ta], which translates to “a little burnt thing” in Italian, is a crusty slab of grilled or toasted country bread, usually rubbed with garlic, brushed with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt, and often generously piled with a robust topping.  It was originally toasted over coals, though any grill will do you just fine.

 

Even though many of us think of the tomato-basil topping as the very definition of bruschetta, the word actually refers to the toasted bread itself, and the toppings can be quite varied.

 

Crostini means “little toasts” in Italian and they are also slices of bread that have been toasted or grilled until crisp.  Unlike bruschetta, though, crostini are not rubbed with garlic as a general rule, though they are drizzled with olive oil and salted.  They are usually smaller, thinner, crisper, and the toppings may be less copious.  These are often eaten as a hors d’ouevres, and may be served with soups of other dishes as a sort of crouton or garnish.

 

But, whether you go bigger or smaller, or call them bruschetta or crostini, it’s hard to think of a nicer way to start a meal or a party than with a good crispy/chewy slice of bread topped with any number of good things.

 

Try these toppings:

Herbed Roasted and Raw Tomato Salsa with Olives 

Lamb with Spiced Crème Fraiche and Herbs

Goat Cheese and Pear

Ramp Chimichurri Sauce and Goat Cheese

Hummus

Fresh Ricotta and Spinach Parsley Pesto