Crostini or bruschetta, have you given it a thought? Both these words are very much used interchangeably. They’re both wildly popular, Italian appetizers of toasted bread with a hint of garlic and different toppings, but what is the difference? Let me take you through that….
The basic difference between bruschetta and crostini is the bread used.
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Bruschetta is from Italian word “bruscare” meaning “to roast over coals” and is made by toasting whole, wide slices of a rustic Italian or sourdough type of bread. Bruschetta at its simplest can be toasted, then rubbed with a clove of garlic and drizzled with your best extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt. This is a great way of letting the true flavors of a fresh-baked bread,and olive oil speak through.
Crostini, means “little toasts,” and are sliced and toasted from a smaller, round, finer-textured bread, more like a white bread baguette. Crostini is mostly piled with various toppings,vegetables, savory spreads, and cheeses and many more.
Both Crostini and Bruschetta give you endless scope for exploring a variety of flavours and seasonal vegetables. My post will show you how you can create different topping, using very basic ingredients from your fridge. Let me specify, all the combinations are delicious. You use them on crostini or bruschetta or may be on a slice of bread, or a cracker.
There will be indicative guidelines for the recipes.
I won’t be giving you the detailed measure of ingredients. Reason – I made a very small quantity of each topping – Come on – We are just four of us in the house, and my fridge is loaded and mostly how much can we four consume ? It depends all on how much quantity you want to make. So use your minds. There are ten different awesome flavors and I will explain all. Just make sure you taste and adjust the seasoning before you serve.
To toast the Bruschetta – Preheat the oven at 425* F. In a small bowl whisk together some butter, olive oil and minced garlic. Brush both the sides of slice with the mixture and bake for 10 to 15 minutes. or till you see wonderful crisp golden color.
I know cauliflower does not sounds very exciting but, trust me, when put onthat crisp garlicky toast its kind of cool.
Method – Cut the flower part of the cauliflower into small thin pieces and roast on the iron griddle pan using very little oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper and add a dash of milk. Mix in the raisins. Spread on to the crisp bruschetta and serve hot, garnish with some fresh coriander.
Sounds classy and tastes delicious. I used red and green bell pepper. Do you know – When allowed to reduce or cook down – balsamic vinegar becomes slightly sweet and thick and adds full-bodied flavor to light, crunchy peppers.
Method — Strips of bell peppers and a clove of garlic on the baking tray, drizzle some balsamic vinegar along with some olive oil. Season with salt and add a pinch of sugar too. Bake for 10 minutes at high. When done, the garlic will soften and you will see some juice (balsamic+ Olive oil along with flavors from bell peppers) on the baking tray. Smash that garlic on the tray and mix with the juices. That thick rustic looking goodness is super flavor. Rub some on to the crisp Bruschetta and top with roasted bell peppers. You can add cheese as well, but don’t require unnecessary calories. Its delicious any ways.
When we cook the grapes, it’s flavor concentrates and the sweetness deepens. Adding chilly flakes gives a punch to the flavors.
Method — Add grapes, black pepper, little sugar, and red pepper flakes in a pan. Cook until grapes are glazed and start to soften, about 5 minutes and season with salt. When done add some finely chopped onion and fresh coriander leaves. Spread on crisp bruschetta along with some cheese (I used Brie).
No cooking required – Toasted crisp Bruschetta with a slice of cheese- it’s more fun if you combine two different types of cheese (I used cheddar + regular pizza cheese). And if you want to melt the cheese; pop the bruschetta in the oven – but without the apple. Because we don’t want to lose the crunchy sweetness of the apple. It’s a beautiful combo apple + cheese. Slice apple into thin slices, Remember thick slice will kill the beauty of this appetizer. You may pile 3 to 4 thin apple segment s but work like an artist. This is super yummy and easy to prepare. Yati suggested to me “Mummy, why don’t you drizzle some honey over the top”. Which we did later, but you don’t see honey in the pictures. So work and combine with your style and taste.
This is a little creamy mash with a hint of lemon and freshness of mint. I saved few tiny mint leaves and few blanched green peas to garnish my prepared Bruchetta.
Method — Blanch the peas in a sauce pan, until just tender. In a sauce pan add some oil and chopped onions. Add in blanched peas and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add in some cream and zest of a lemon. Season with salt and pepper. Add in the fresh mint leaves. Mash the peas with bottom of a glass. Or If you like creamy spread; like I do, use a mixer to grind. Spread the prepared mix on to the crisp bruschetta and drizzle some extra virgin olive oil before serve. Garnish with some blanched peas and mint leaves.
Fresh ricotta is delicious, you can buy it or make it home. When combined with roasted tomatoes its just superb. Spread this on a Bruschetta to create a yum bite.
Method – Arrange the tomatoes , cut side up, in a shallow baking tray. Drizzle some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt,and very less sugar. Scatter some garlic cloves around tomatoes. Roast in the oven until tender and the skin wrinkles. When done, transfer tomatoes to a bowl and peel the roasted garlic cloves. Mash the garlic to a paste and mix with oil and juices left on the baking tray.
Rub the garlic mix on to the crisp bruschetta. A thick layer of ricotta and top with yumm roasted tomatoes.This is amazing in flavor and my favorite too.
If you a mushroom fan, this one is for you. It’s a creamy topping and I shaved some parmesan ribbons on the top before serving. If you don’t find parmesan ,go with good quality cheddar.
Method– In a pan, heat some oil. Add the chopped garlic, onions and saute for a minute. Add the washed and sliced mushrooms. Cook till tender, and season with salt and pepper. When done, remove from heat and add in some cream. Top the crisp bruschetta with mushroom mix and parmesan. Serve hot and delicious.
Call this a seasonal appetizer. How can we miss mangoes, when they are looking at us from that fruit basket kept on the table. Moreover, Mango is everyone’s darling food. This simple and colorful mango salsa is super easy to make! It’s sweet, spicy and absolutely delicious.
Method– In a bowl, combine chopped mango, bell pepper, onion, coriander and jalapeño. Drizzle with the juice of one lime and mix well. Season to taste with salt. I would suggest if required, add some sugar too. For best flavor, let the salsa rest for 10 minutes or longer.
Pomegranate walnut and ricotta bruschetta with a drizzle of honey
You can’t go wrong with this classy combo. The contrast of texture is lovely. Crunchy walnut, creamy ricotta, juicy pomegranate Sweet honey drizzle; these all work fantastic together.
Method – does not require any cooking, Spread the fresh ricotta on crispy bruschetta sprinkle gorgeous red pomegranate along with crunchy walnuts. Drizzle honey just before you serve them.
Spinach and corn topping , I mostly make and keep in the fridge. My secret is this turns out very handy, can be in the lunch box stuffed in a toasted sandwhich, or evening time small hungers are taken care of with an open toast and even in a frankie. A very versatile and healthy recipe.
Method– In a pan add some oil and saute some garlic and onion for a minute or so. Add in chopped spinach. When done season with salt and pepper. Add in boiled corn and transfer to a bowl. Mix little mayoniese and spread on a crispy bruschetta. Crumble some cheese on the top and serve.
All these ideas can be used different ways and do try mix and match and create something delicious. Please don’t forget to share with me. Up till then bye bye and enjoy!