Watch Cooking Channel

Extra Virgin on Wheels: Bruschetta To Go

A very special Italian food truck -- Debi gets our menu ready.

This week on Extra Virgin, Debi and I volunteer our time for an important Los Angeles charity, Midnight Mission. Our contribution is to cook up a few Italian specialities and sell them on the Vesuvio Food Truck to a very hungry crowd. All the proceeds are going to The Midnight Mission!

On the menu are Turkey Meatballs, risotto croquettes or Arancini, and Sautéed Mushroom Bruschetta.

Meatballs and arancini are real treats in Tuscany, but bruschetta is a staple. It’s served in every home; in every bar as early as 11 am, when people get out of the office for a glass of prosecco or a traditional spuma (a light Italian soda); and as an appetizer for every event you might attend. But any time of the day is good for bruschetta, and the variety of toppings used is incredibly abundant, and seasonal.

Toppings are only limited by your imagination.

The traditional bruschetta is topped with chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil and extra virgin olive oil. But it is also easy to come across bruschetta topped with mushrooms, black kale, cannellini beans, sausage and stracchino, a soft cheese.

I remember coming home from school when I was a kid, doing my homework and ending up on the kitchen floor playing LEGOS with my brother. If we were starving and dinner was not yet ready, guess what our mom would serve us… you got it—bruschetta.

Debi and I chop mushrooms for our bruschetta.

What fascinates me the most about bruschetta is its origin. In medieval times, servants living and working in private homes did not own anything but a blanket to cover themselves with at night, basically one step above slavery. They did not own plates or silverware, and their diet mainly consisted of dinner scraps. They loaded slices of simple, unsalted bread—in those times, salt was a precious currency that only the wealthy could afford—with whatever sauce and leftovers they found in the pots and pans used to cook their employers’ dinner. And this is what bruschetta is: unsalted peasant bread, covered with simple sauces, leftovers, or anything else that pleases.

It is really not so different from scarpetta, the tradition of cleaning your plate after a meal with a piece of bread. You would never clear a plate with a few remaining bits of delicious sauce at the bottom.

Sauteeing the mushrooms with garlic.

In Tuscany the tradition has remained the same, and bruschetta is only served on unsalted bread. Here in the U.S., things are a bit different. I tried everywhere to find simple wood-fire baked unsalted bread, but it appears that a flavorless loaf is not something that appeals to many. I have my own recipe, which I will have to share soon. I bake it at least twice a month, not so much for the flavor—again, it has none—but more for the memories that it brings back to me. (Also it is good for my diet—how could you stuff yourself on bread that has no flavor?)

In Tuscany, it is not mandatory to toast the bread for bruschetta. However, I grew up on a farm where there’s a tradition every November and December to celebrate the first press of our olive oil. It is a really big deal, and we honor our liquid gold by toasting slices of bread in the fireplace, and pairing them with the fresh olive oil, boiled cavolo nero (Tuscan black kale), and a few glasses of vino novello (new wine). It has been a tradition for my family since I can remember, and I miss it very much!

Stacking the sauteed mushrooms on toasted bread.

One thing I have seen hunters do in Tuscany is shoot a couple of loads of pellets into an old pan, which they will then use to toast bread or chestnuts during winter! If you’d like to toast your bread for bruschetta, you can either broil it quickly in your oven, or on a grill. I would not recommend using a regular electric toaster, as I find it dries up the bread too much.

There are really no secrets, special tricks or limitations to the kind of sauces and toppings you can try on your bruschetta. Make it a personal affair, and make sure to dress it with the best olive oil you can get your hands on. One of my personal favorites, usually prepared in the midst of winter, is with rabbit stew. It is delicate, yet loaded with flavors and aromas of herbs like fresh bay leaves and rosemary. It is a real traditional hunter’s recipe.

Ready to go.

One tip: Never assemble your bruschetta too long before serving it—the bread will get soggy! This can be a real problem, not just for overall texture, but also for your guests when the bread tears and the topping spills all over! Slice the bread and set it aside, and keep your topping of choice in a bowl until you are ready to serve it.

The real beauty of bruschetta is that it is always appropriate to serve—a dish of very humble origin that is enjoyed by everybody. It is inexpensive, quick to prepare, allows for creativity, and is a great way to finish your leftovers.

Enjoy.

Buon Appetito!
Gabriele

Watch Gabriele and Debi Mazar cook meals from their home every Wednesday night at 10pm ET/ 9pm CT on Cooking Channel.

More about the show:

More delicious Italian food:

Tags:

Comments (196)

  1. beauty posted 06/11/2013

    beauty…

  2. pidilite industries ltd mumbai posted 06/12/2013

    pidilite industries ltd mumbai…

    […]here are some hyperlinks to web pages that we link to simply because we assume they may be worth visiting[…]…

  3. Top website……

    always a big fan of linking to bloggers that I love but don’t get a lot of link love from…

  4. Melynda Gunnels posted 06/18/2013

    Melynda Gunnels…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]…

  5. cash advance posted 06/21/2013

    cash advance…

    […]Here are several of the websites we recommend for our visitors[…]…

  6. High Voltage Capacitor posted 06/24/2013

    High Voltage Capacitor…

    […]check beneath, are some totally unrelated web-sites to ours, nevertheless, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]…

  7. Keramik kondensator posted 06/27/2013

    Keramik kondensator…

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]…

  8. best dating sites posted 06/30/2013

    best dating sites…

    […]The information and facts mentioned in the report are several of the most effective available […]…

  9. vetement homme pas cher posted 07/02/2013

    Informative and precise…

    Its difficult to find informative and accurate info but here I found…

  10. dent removal training posted 07/03/2013

    dent removal training…

    […]the time to study or pay a visit to the content material or sites we have linked to below the[…]…

  11. paintless dent removal training…

    […]check below, are some totally unrelated web sites to ours, nonetheless, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]…

  12. make money at home posted 07/04/2013

    make money at home…

    […]very couple of internet websites that occur to be detailed beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly nicely really worth checking out[…]…

  13. pure garcinia cambogia extract posted 07/04/2013

    pure garcinia cambogia extract…

    […]we came across a cool web page that you just could possibly love. Take a appear if you want[…]…

  14. Mallorca properties posted 07/05/2013

    Mallorca properties…

    […]The facts mentioned in the write-up are several of the top readily available […]…

  15. jobs in sri lanka posted 07/06/2013

    jobs in sri lanka…

    […]check below, are some completely unrelated web sites to ours, having said that, they’re most trustworthy sources that we use[…]…

  16. assurance chien posted 07/15/2013

    Wikia…

    Wika linked to this place…

  17. toms shoes outlet posted 08/09/2013

    toms shoes outlet…

    Extra Virgin on Wheels: Bruschetta To Go | Devour The Blog: Cooking Channel’s Recipe and Food Blog szioovcdpl vendzsvo sscyly nqhgnzgfqmc gtpuusr hbxfcd…

  18. My Homepage posted 08/17/2013

    … [Trackback]…

    […] There you will find 80891 more Infos: blog.cookingchanneltv.com/2011/02/16/extra-virgin-on-wheels-bruschetta-to-go/ […]…

  19. click here posted 09/06/2013

    I just found this cool website…

    I just posted your blog on my personal blog……

  20. creative wordpress themes posted 10/04/2013

    {Dreary|Dismal|Tedious|Uninspiring|Tiresome} Day…

    ?t had been a dreary day in this article yesterday, so I just took to piddeling around online and realized…

  21. check my reference posted 10/07/2013

    {Dreary|Dismal|Tedious|Uninspiring|Tiresome} Day…

    It absolutely was a dreary day here yesterday, so I just took to messing around online and realized…

  22. african authors posted 11/11/2013

    african authors…

    […]here are some hyperlinks to internet sites that we link to since we consider they may be worth visiting[…]…

  23. new jordan releases posted 11/27/2013

    Emerson Harpst…

    Here are a number of the web pages we advise for our visitors…

  24. xtreme no reviews posted 12/01/2013

    xtreme no…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]……

  25. Marco posted 12/21/2013

    Marco…

    […]one of our guests lately suggested the following website[…]…

  26. snow manchu posted 02/07/2014

    Whispering Misty…

    So sorry you may miss the workshop!…

  27. Google posted 02/16/2014

    Google…

    The facts mentioned in the post are a few of the most effective accessible….

  28. iphone5buzz.org posted 03/18/2014

    iphone5buzz.org…

    […]Here are a number of the sites we advise for our visitors[…]…

  29. paintless dent repair training posted 03/21/2014

    paintless dent repair training…

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine several unrelated data, nonetheless seriously really worth taking a appear, whoa did a single learn about Mid East has got a lot more problerms at the same time […]…

  30. paintless dent removal training…

    […]very handful of websites that happen to be in depth beneath, from our point of view are undoubtedly well really worth checking out[…]…

  31. Sylhet posted 03/23/2014

    Sylhet…

    […]please stop by the websites we adhere to, including this 1, because it represents our picks through the web[…]…

  32. paintless dent removal training…

    […]Sites of interest we have a link to[…]…

  33. apartment remodeling posted 03/29/2014

    apartment remodeling…

    […]below you will locate the link to some internet sites that we assume you ought to visit[…]…

  34. paintless dent removal training…

    […]although web sites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they may be really worth a go through, so possess a look[…]…

  35. Tagesdeals – Kosmetik Tagesdeals…

  36. DIY posted 04/19/2014

    DIY…

    […]the time to study or visit the material or sites we have linked to below the[…]…

  37. senior dating site posted 04/23/2014

    senior dating site…

    […]The details talked about within the post are some of the very best offered […]…

  38. Siete maravillas del mundo posted 04/23/2014

    Siete maravillas del mundo…

    […]here are some links to web-sites that we link to due to the fact we assume they are worth visiting[…]…

  39. mobile app developer posted 04/26/2014

    mobile app developer…

    […]Sites of interest we’ve a link to[…]…

  40. Fashion posted 05/03/2014

    Fashion…

    […]Every when in a although we opt for blogs that we study. Listed below are the most current internet sites that we pick […]…

  41. Country Music Ireland posted 05/04/2014

    Country Music Ireland…

    […]one of our visitors lately suggested the following website[…]…

  42. Eiaculazione Precoce posted 05/11/2014

    Eiaculazione Precoce…

    […]Here are a few of the websites we recommend for our visitors[…]…

  43. vietnam flower delivery posted 05/23/2014

    vietnam flower delivery…

    […]always a massive fan of linking to bloggers that I love but do not get a whole lot of link appreciate from[…]…

  44. masinute posted 06/05/2014

    masinute…

    […]Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a handful of unrelated information, nevertheless really worth taking a search, whoa did a single discover about Mid East has got a lot more problerms also […]…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c