Classic Bruschetta & Salami (photo by hzaida)

As I chew on my week in Tuscany (pun intended), the first word that pops into my head is glutton.  I have never spent an entire week doing nothing but eating and drinking.  Okay, okay a few sites were seen with some shopping but honestly our focus was relaxing and let’s face it, eating is synonymous with relaxation.

What I appreciated most of the Tuscany region was the fact that all food is literally farm to table.  Meaning, you didn’t find anything on the menu that couldn’t be produced in the area.  A typical Italian menu would read something like this:  L’antipasto “before meal” consisting of crostinis, meat platters and bruschettas.  Il primo “first course” is pastas, risottos or soups.  Il secondo “second course” is considered the main course and would comprise of meat, poultry, game or fish.  Il contorno “side dish” is where vegetables or insalta misto “mixed salad” could be found.  And, last but not least Il dolce “dessert” where tiramisu is the shining star.  That is a whole lot of eating!  We quickly learned that 2 orders from each section of the menu was too much so, we often shared second and main courses.

Throughout the next couple weeks I plan to share articles based on my food related experiences.  Spoiler alert!  This includes a cooking class in Chianti where I will showcase how to make a traditional dish called Ribolita and Gnocchi in Gorgonzola Sauce with Wine-Poached Pears, if I can convince the Chef from Enoteca dell’Acqua to share his recipe.

Before I sign off I want to leave with you a simple recipe for classic bruschetta.  You are probably like me and when you think bruschetta you think chopped tomatoes scooped on a toasted round with herbs.  I learned that yes, this can be found on most menus however it is not considered the classic form of bruschetta.  Don’t let the simplicity of this recipe fool you, I promise you will be left wondering when that garlicky piece of heaven will enter your mouth again.

Classic Bruschetta

loaf of country style bread, 1″ slices
extra virgin olive oil*
cloves of garlic, peeled
sea salt

  1. Place sliced bread on a hot grill and gently grill your bread on each side until grill marks are present and bread is lightly toasted.
  2. Take clove of garlic and rub on one side of your toasted bread.
  3. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  4. Season with sea salt.

Cooking Notes:

  • *The olive oil used for this recipe needs to be of high quality to enjoy fully.  When selecting an olive oil, you want to select an oil with less than 1% acidity.  This is a good indication you are buying a quality product. 
  • When storing your olive oil remember air, heat and light will cause olive oil to turn rancid.  If your olive oil tastes buttery, your oil is probably rancid.  Refrigeration is not recommended however a dark, cold room is.
  • When rubbing the garlic on your bread, be warned a little goes a long way.  I figured that out the hard way but at least I didn’t worry about vampires.
  • If serving at a dinner party, it could be fun to provide the ingredients and allow your guests to make their own bruschetta.

Buon Appetito! From my travels to your kitchen.

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